Motorist claims trucker left scene after propelling lumber through his windshield

Ann Knef Mar. 12, 2007, 9:54am

Kenneth Brinker is suing Beelman Truck Co. and its employees over a 2005 accident in which a piece of lumber from the Beelman truck was ejected and propelled through the windshield of Brinker's oncoming Ford E-350 one-ton van.

Brinker, who suffered face, hand and arm injuries, claims Beelman's truck driver Scott Guthrie fled the scene after the accident. He also claims Beelman's dispatcher David Palm either personally or through his agents retrieved and disposed of at least one section of lumber that struck him.

The incident took place at 7:08 a.m. on July 13, 2005, on Highway 50 approximately 100 feet west of Summerfield Road near Lebanon.

Guthrie was westbound; Brinker was eastbound, according to the complaint filed March 8 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The piece of lumber that left the Beelman truck was approximately four-to-six-feet long, the complaint states.

Brinker claims Palm or another Beelman employee "secreted the lumber in an unknown location or disposed of it entirely."

Brinker alleges the defendants are negligent for failing to load the lumber securely onto the trailer. He also claims Guthrie failed to render aid as required by state statute following a motor vehicle accident.

"Immediately following the incident...plaintiff exhibited visible injuries including cuts and bleeding," the complaint states.

"As a direct and proximate result of defendant's aforesaid breach and violation, plaintiff was forced to drive himself to the hospital thus incurring additional pain and suffering because of the injury to his arm and hand," the complaint states.

Brinker is represented by Roy C. Dripps of the Lakin Law Firm in Wood River.

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