2006 Toyota crash victim: 'All I really remember is a bomb exploding'

On June 10, 2006, Quincy Adams was about to ask his son something.

"I'm looking at my son, and I'm going to ask him why we're on Snelling," he said. He never got to ask the question.

"All I really remember is a bomb exploding," he said.

That bomb was a Toyota Camry slamming into the back of his Oldsmobile. His son Javis died instantly. His grandson, JJ, died, too.

Devyn, who Adams considered a granddaughter, was paralyzed, but survived. After making it home from the hospital, she later died from complications.

"With time, it's making it easier, but I still have my moments. There be days I wake up. I just be stuck," Adams said.

"It's like you're used to somebody for a long time, and now you got to get used to them never being there anymore."

Beyond losing much of his family, beyond the serious injuries he suffered, Adams would have to deal with a criminal trial for the man driving the Toyota, Koua Fong Lee.

"From day one, when I seen him, put eyes on him. I never felt it was his fault," Adams said.

Lee was sentenced to eight years in prison, but released after nearly three after Toyota recalled other models -- not Lee's, however -- because cars were accelerating, possibly even with the foot on the brake.

Attorney Mike Padden soon entered the picture for a lawsuit against Toyota. He said would have been impossible without Lee's car still in existence. Surprisingly, it was, thanks to Lee's attorney asking the man who prosecuted him to preserve it. That car would lead to one of Padden's experts making a crucial discovery: The brake light was on at the time of the crash.

"When you juxtaposed that this phenomenon happened to other people around the country with the fact that Lee was a credible witness, and you had the left-rear lamp energized, I think it as a pretty straight-forward case," Padden said.

Still, at one point, the jury said they were deadlocked. After four days of deliberating, they checked the yes box on the verdict form. Toyota was 60 percent at fault, Lee 40 percent.

Verdict: Toyota Camry defect 60 percent to blame in Minn. crash that killed 3

Adams says he still avoids the intersection of Concordia and Snelling and is doing his best to control which memories stay in his rearview mirror.

"All I want them to remember is how strong we were, and happy," Adams said.

The jury awarded the Lee family, and Adams' family, for both their physical and emotional distress, a total of over $10 million. Toyota still has the option to appeal the verdict.


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