The Madison County Record Sep. 9, 2014, 6:31am

A St. Clair County man and his employer are accused of negligence for allegedly running one tractor-trailer into the back of another.

Michael Stevens filed a lawsuit against Natures Second Chance Hauling of Alton and Steven Blankenship on Aug. 29 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The crash happened Dec. 16, 2013, as Stevens was driving an International Harvester semi-truck on U.S. Route 50 east. According to the complaint, Blankenship was also driving an International Harvester tractor-trailer owned by Natures Second Chance Hauling when he allegedly ran into the back of Stevens' rig. Stevens says the impact of the crash caused permanent neurological injuries to his lumbar spine.

Stevens accuses Blankenship of negligence for allegedly failing to control the tractor-trailer, driving too fast for conditions, following too closely and failing to take necessary actions to avoid the collision. He accuses Blankenship's employer, Natures Second Chance Hauling, of negligence for allegedly failing to ensure the semi-truck was operated in a safe manner.

Stevens is asking for more than $150,000 in damages for medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, loss of household services, pain, suffering and mental anguish. Attorneys Bruce R. Cook, of Belleville, D. Matthew Dreesen, of Waynesville, and Bradford C. Kendall, of Kansas City, represent Stevens.

The case number is St. Clair County Circuit Court case 14-L-616.

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