Driver's Whole30 diet was factor in deadly crash, lawsuit claims

The estate of a woman fatally struck by a dieting driver in an Oregon grocery store parking lot is suing the motorist for alleged negligence and citing his Whole30 diet as a factor in the accident.

The $3.5 million wrongful-death suit was filed in state court Thursday on behalf of the estate of 68-year-old Susan Matthies, who was killed Sept. 21, 2017, outside a Safeway in Dallas, Oregon. The legal claim was reported by the Oregonian newspaper.

He did not face criminal charges in the accident, according to the newspaper.

The lawsuit alleges that driver Robert Morgan "was on a 'Whole 30' diet at the time and had not eaten breakfast or lunch. ... Defendant Morgan continued to drive his vehicle home while feeling nauseous and lightheaded."

Participants in Whole30 avoid processed foods, grains, legumes, soy, dairy, sugar and alcohol for 30 days.

Matthies was putting groceries in her vehicle when Morgan's vehicle struck hers and then "proceeded to run her over," the suit alleges.

She died that night at Salem Hospital.

Related: How to stick to a heart-healthy diet

How to stick to a heart-healthy diet
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How to stick to a heart-healthy diet

1. Addition and substitution (not deprivation)

"Yes, you should avoid foods high in unhealthy fats and sugar," says Latimer. "But instead of focusing on what you can't have, focus on what you can enjoy. 

2. Increase fiber in your diet without supplements

Fruits, vegetables and beans are packed with fiber with whole grains: Steel cut oats and berries for breakfast, brown rice, beans and vegetables for lunch and dinner.

3. Try this perfect heart healthy lunch

A salad with leafy greens, tomatoes, salmon and a little olive oil. Kale and spinach are also high in vitamin K and will help boost your heart health. Tomatoes are a fantastic source of antioxidants, while salmon is packed with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Toss in avocado (for blood pressure and fiber) for a filling and healthy meal. 

Olive oil is a good fat and has been shown to reduce cholesterol 

4. Nuts make the perfect snack 

Snack on walnuts, almonds and peanuts which are filled with omega-3s, fibers and vitamin E to lower cholesterol and decrease risk for clots. 

5. Keep fruits and veggies on-hand for easy access

A full fridge can reduce your cravings and mindless eating. A cup of anti-inflammatory green tea once a day can also do wonders. 

6. Moderate intake of red wine

Some studies prove red wine, dark chocolate and coffee have been linked to better heart health. Cheers! 


The suit claims that Morgan failed to control his vehicle, drove too fast, drove while experiencing "health issues," was distracted and failed to obey traffic laws.

"It was foreseeable that said negligence would cause injury to others," the suit states.

An obituary for Matthies called her death a "tragic accident."

NBC News was unable to reach Morgan Friday evening for his response to the filing.

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