Jesse’s Story of the Day

Paralyzed Army vet takes fight against car rental agencies to state Senate


A Yelm soldier who led a strike team in Afghanistan is now fighting a new battle in the state Senate.

“I really enjoyed my time in the army,” Davey said.

Nick Davey served three tours and Afghanistan.  But he was paralyzed after he was on his hit on motorcycle by a man from Saudi Arabia who rented a SUV from Avis.  Davey will never walk again.

The driver, who was at fault, skipped out of the country and may never return.

“I had a sense of purpose, direction and enjoyment,” Davey explained.  “Since the accident, I’ve lost my direction in life and purpose and happiness.”

Nick testified Monday at a hearing in Olympia for Senate Bill 5944.  It increases rental car companies’ liability if they rent to someone without checking if a driver has a valid license or verifying signatures.

Nick’s lawyer, Tony Shapiro, said that’s what happened in Davey’s case.

“We learned that whatever the credential to the rental agent, it was a credential she could not read,” Shapiro explained.  “She admitted she could not read Arabic. She admitted she could not understand what was on the laminated piece of paper she received, nor could she admit that it was a license.”

In court documents, Avis said the driver in the case had a valid Saudi Arabian driver’s license at the time and nothing precluded the company from renting to the man.  However, Shapiro argued the rental signatures did not match others from his trip.

“Our expert indicates that the signature on the rental agreement, the first signature, does not match the signature from the hotel or the signature from the accident report when he turned the car in, leading to the belief that there may be two different people who have signed those documents,” Shapiro said.

Jesse told you about Davey’s story last summer.  As a result of our report, State Senator Randi Becker introduced Senate Bill 5944.

“This could happen to somebody else and this is why it is so important to bring this bill forward,” Becker said.

Nick is described as a hero who led a strike team in Afghanistan, and never lost a man under his watch.

He’s now fighting again–the law is his target.

“It’ll be nice to know that I’ll be a part in changing it,” Davey said.  “It’s a public safety law that everyone should agree on.  I think everyone should agree on…no politics here.”

Davey sued Avis in 2017.  The case was settled before trial.

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