The families of two young doctors killed in a head-on collision on Old Canton Road in February are suing Karen and Stuart Irby for $60 million in damages. Police charged Karen Irby with depraved heart murder and aggravated assault in the crash that killed Lisa Dedousis and Daniel Pogue, and severely injured her husband, Stuart. She pleaded not guilty to the charges in May and is scheduled to stand trial March 29, 2010.
The night of Feb. 11 at around 10:30, Irby crossed into oncoming lanes in her black Mercedes, reportedly traveling at around 100 mph, more than double the road's 45 mph speed limit. She drove head-on into a white pickup truck carrying Dedousis and Pogue. Both vehicles then hit a brick retaining wall, and the truck burst into flames, killing both occupants.
Pogue, a third-year resident with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and his fiancee, Dedousis, a resident at Jersey City Medical Center in New Jersey, were spending time together in anticipation of Valentine's Day. The couple had planned a December wedding.
The complaint, which represents one side of a legal argument, states that Karen Irby had been drinking that night, and includes Stuart Irby because he "knew, or should have known, that immediately prior to the motor vehicle accident which gives rise to this civil action that Karen C. Irby had been drinking alcoholic beverages and was under the influence of intoxicating alcohol (and/or other intoxicants) and was unable to safely drive or operate a motor vehicle." Stuart Irby knew that Karen Irby was also subject to black-outs, according to the suit, and charges him with negligence for allowing her to drive.