MLK crash survivor files suit

Ann Knef Oct. 2, 2006, 5:02am

A survivor of a deadly crash on the Martin Luther King Bridge nearly two years has filed suit in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Clyde M. Robb filed suit Sept. 28 against Boeing Aerospace Operations and Patricia Cissell, the wife of a "RideFinder" driver Richard Cissell, who was among the fatalities.

According to the suit, Robb sustained serious and permanent injuries to his legs, knees, left arm and left shoulder, as well as injuries to his teeth, mouth, face, ears and nerves and ligaments.

His wife, Peggy Robb, is seeking damages for lost wages in caring for her husband, the loss of his valuable services, medical expenses, loss of companionship, marital services, conjugal relations and consortium.

The incident happened early in the morning Nov. 12, 2004, as the van commissioned by Boeing and driven by Richard Cissell, was heading westbound on the Martin Luther King Bridge.

Cissell "carelessly and negligently drove the Chevrolet van in which plaintiff Clyde Robb was an occupant across the center line that divided the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic, thereby causing the front-end of the van to collide 'head on' with a Peterbuild truck/tractor pulling a box trailer," the complaint states.

In March, a similar suit was filed by a surviving daughter of one of the passengers. Jessica Wahlman, whose father was among the victims. She filed a wrongful death suit against Boeing and Cissell.

Robb claims Cissell drove the van "while sleepy" and crossed the center line as he was ferrying passengers to work in St. Louis.

According to news reports, the passengers came from Randolph, Monroe and St. Clair counties and were headed to their jobs at Boeing and GKN Aerospace, a British aerospace company. The accident occurred at 5:30 a.m. and shut the bridge down for five hours.

Represented by Michael K. Nowak of O'Fallon, the Robbs are seeking in excess of $200,000 in damages.

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