A Madison woman is suing a Wisconsin company hired to clear trees for the New England Clean Energy Connect transmission corridor, alleging that a distracted worker crashed a truck into the vehicle her husband was driving, injuring her and killing her husband.

Shannon Rollins-Allen and her attorneys, Taylor Asen and Meryl Poulin, filed the lawsuit on Monday in U.S. District Court in Portland against Northern Clearing Inc. of Ashland, Wisconsin. Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is Northern Clearing employee Curtis W. Stephens, of Jeffersonville, Kentucky.

The complaint does not seek damages from Central Maine Power or NECEC, and is directed at Northern Clearing and Stephens, Asen said. A jury will decide the merits of the case and award damages if it rules in favor of Rollins-Allen.

The head-on collision on Route 2 in Norridgewock on Sept. 10 left the 45-year-old Madison woman with severe injuries and resulted in the death of her 46-year-old husband, Christopher Allen. The suit describes the couple as “high school sweethearts.”

“The emotional, psychological, and physical injuries she suffered are really profound,” Asen said Monday evening in a telephone interview.

Asen said that he has spoken with Northern Clearing’s lawyer, Portland attorney Christine Kennedy-Jensen, about the case. The company will have 30 days to respond to the complaint. Kennedy-Jensen said in an email Monday night that she would be unable to comment because the case is ongoing.


“This case arises from a collision caused when Defendant Curtis Stephens, while driving distracted, drove his truck into the oncoming lane and crashed head-on into the Plaintiff’s vehicle, resulting in serious injuries to Plaintiff Shannon Rollins-Allen and the death of her husband, Christopher Allen,” the lawsuit states.

Christopher Allen was driving a 2008 Chevrolet Impala east on Route 2 in Norridgewock when a utility truck driven by Stephens crossed the center and struck the Impala, according to the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

“At this point (Stephens) has not been charged but the investigation is still ongoing,” Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Tuesday. “When it is completed, we will be forwarding it to the Somerset County District Attorney’s office for review and consideration.”

Lancaster didn’t say when the investigation was expected to conclude but that it is “getting close to being completed.”

In the court complaint filed Monday, Shannon Rollins-Allen and her attorney say the suit was filed “to compel Northern Clearing to take responsibility for this tragic incident, for which it and its employee are legally responsible.”

According to the complaint, Rollins-Allen suffered broken ribs, a broken pelvis, broken legs, broken ankles, shattered heel bones, emotional distress, lost earnings, lost enjoyment of life and was forced to incur medical bills for her own care and treatment as a result of the crash.


Northern Clearing, Inc. was hired by CMP and its parent company, Avangrid to clear cut trees for the NECEC transmission corridor, according to the complaint.

At the time of the crash, “Stephens became distracted by looking at an electronic device and negligently crossed into the opposing lane and collided head-on with the plaintiff’s vehicle,” the complaint alleges.

The complaint claims that Stephens had a duty to operate his truck in “a safe and reasonable manner” and that Northern Clearing had a responsibility to hire, train, supervise and manage its operations in a manner that ensured their employees operated vehicles in “a safe and reasonable manner.”

Rollins-Allen is seeking a jury trial.

Morning Sentinel reporter Taylor Abbott contributed to this story.

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