Carol Ostrow Jun. 2, 2015, 8:55am


A woman accuses the Madison County Mass Transit District of designing a defective trail system after her husband was killed by an errant juvenile driver while walking on the trails.

Traci L. Manis, as special administrator of the estate of Jack W. Hoppe Jr., filed the wrongful death lawsuit on May 18 in Madison County Circuit Court against Jacob K. Miller of Edwardsville and Madison County Mass Transit District (MCT) of Granite City, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff’s decedent was walking on the MCT nature trail in Granite City on or about June 6, 2014, when Miller drove onto the trail from St. Clair Avenue and allegedly struck Hoppe violently with his vehicle, resulting in Hoppe’s death.

The suit states that MCT was willfully negligent in its trail design and maintenance, failing to assess safety risks, erect barricades or place other safety devices to divert traffic.

The plaintiff accuses Miller with wanton conduct and breach of duty by operating his vehicle carelessly, driving while intoxicated, failing to keep a lookout and maintain a reasonable speed, neglecting to report the accident and leaving the scene.

Alleging grief, loss of support and mental suffering, Manis requests damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs

She is represented by John Simon and Timothy Cronin of The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis, Missouri; and Sean Cronin of Donovan Rose Nester in Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-626

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