Former Viking Senser and wife sued

Sept. 7, 2011 at 9:06 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The family of a man killed in a hit-and-run crash is suing former Minnesota Viking Joe Senser and his wife, saying they want the couple held accountable.

An attorney for Amy Senser, 45, wife of the former Vikings tight end, told investigators she was driving the Mercedes sport utility vehicle that struck and killed Anousone "Bic" Phanthavongon Aug. 23 in Minneapolis.

The family of Phanthavong has complained that if anyone else had done what the Sensers acknowledge doing -- including waiting a day to report the incident and refusing to speak with investigators -- they would be behind bars.

"Rich people can get away with it. But poor people would be sitting in jail right now," Vilayphone Phanthavong, 41 one of the victim's sisters, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Phanthavong, chef at a Thai restaurant, was pouring gasoline into his stalled vehicle on an exit ramp from westbound Interstate 94 when he was hit and knocked 40 feet.

He was declared dead at the scene.

An attorney for the Sensers hinted Tuesday Amy Senser may not have realized her vehicle had struck Phanthavong, an assertion the Phanthavongs' attorney, Jim Schwebel, discounts.

"This was a violent impact, his body was airborne, it took off the left rear-view mirror [of his car], he was carried quite a distance and his body was shattered," Schwebel told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "This is not the kind of thing that happens without you knowing that you've been in an accident."

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