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Ligonier woman’s lawsuit blames Trump House for pre-election wreck

Rich Cholodofsky
gtrtrumpcrash102616
Jacob Tierney | Tribune-Review
Two cars sit outside of Unity Township's famed 'Trump House' after crashing Oct. 25, 2016.
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Jacob Tierney | Tribune-Review
Two cars sit outside of Unity Township's famed 'Trump House' after crashing Oct. 25, 2016.
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Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Leslie Rossi, owner of 'The Trump House' along Route 982 in Youngstown, waves to honking cars on election day Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
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Jacob Tierney | Tribune-Review
Two cars sit outside of Unity Township's famed 'Trump House' after crashing Oct. 25, 2016.

A Ligonier woman claims a car crash less than two weeks before the 2016 presidential election was caused by the likeness of Donald Trump.

In a lawsuit filed Friday, Kellie Roadman blamed the Trump House , a Unity Township shrine erected to the then-presidential candidate that featured a 12-foot high cutout of a waving Trump. She claims the attraction served as a distraction that caused a collision in front of the property located near the village of Youngstown.

According to the lawsuit, Roadman claims that as she drove her 2005 Honda Civic north on Route 982 on Oct. 25, 2016 , her vehicle was struck by another motorist who had slowed down as it approached the Trump House.

“As a result of the poor conspicuity of the single driveway to the Trump House, as well as the number signs, posters and displays located on the defendants’ property … was distracted and not able to properly and safely locate the driveway entrance for the Trump House,” according to the lawsuit.

Roadman claims property owner Leslie Baum Rossi was negligent for failing to properly mark the driveway and not receiving a permit from PennDOT.

Rossi could not be reached for comment.

The driver of the second car was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

Roadman seeks damages in excess of $30,000, saying she suffered a leg and ankle fractures, knee injuries, spleen and liver lacerations and other sprains and cuts.

The Trump House gained national fame and international attention in the months leading up to the presidential election and saw up to 14,000 visitors a month.

In addition to the large Trump image, the house was painted to resemble an American flag. Rossi and others greeted visitors and handed out campaign paraphernalia such as signs and hats.

The house remained open after the election.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or [email protected]

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