CLEVELAND — The video is still painful to watch, and so is Cameron Jenkins’ life after being hoisted into the air by a tow truck and then flipped onto the interstate during rush hour traffic.
The 25-year-old was sitting inside of his Kia in the berm along side of I-90 westbound near the I-71 split after a minor fender bender last April.
“I don’t remember hearing anything I just remember my car going up,” said Jenkins. “It goes to where I’m looking straight forward and then the next thing I know I’m flipped over in my car.”
Cleveland Police body camera video captured the entire, unbelievable accident.
As officers yelled and ran to the car, the tow truck operator can be heard asking, “Is he in there?”
The officer responds, “Yes he’s in there!”
Cameron doesn’t recall much of what happened after that point.
He was badly bruised and had suffered a serious concussion. The effects of which linger to this day.
“Insomnia, nausea, slight dizziness and hard concentration, I’ve also been fighting increased anxiety,” said Jenkins, who was previously healthy with a full time career.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Attorney Tom Merriman who is representing Jenkins. “ I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
On Thursday, Merriman filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jenkins with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
The suit accuses AutoBase, Inc., a company based in New York, and a local employee of “negligence, reckless, willful and wanton misconduct.”
AutoBase was under contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation at the time providing “freeway safety patrol” services.
According to a police report, the tow truck operator said the boom malfunctioned, that the buttons had been sticking and that managers knew about it.
“This is over the top reckless,” said Merriman.
At the time, Cameron’s vehicle was still driveable and he never consented to have the car towed.
In fact, they say he never saw it coming until it was too late.
“I remember seeing glass shattered all in my seat. I want to say my leg was where my headrest is and my head was in my passengers seat,” said Jenkins.
The lawsuit is seeking relief in excess of $50,000 to help with his permanent physical injuries, medical bills, property loss, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity and other losses and damages.
However, more than anything Jenkins wants to make sure something like this never happens again.
“It’s terrible, it’s just something I would never hope on anybody else,” he said.
FOX 8 previously reached out to AutoBase, Inc. for comment. A spokesperson said they don’t comment on pending litigation.