Daughter of accident victim sues Okawville and tavern

Ann Knef Oct. 9, 2007, 10:40am

Lisa Boerm filed a dram shop suit against a golf course owned by the village of Okawville and the owner of the Blue Room tavern in New Minden claiming their alleged negligence caused her mother to perish in a deadly wreck last year on Route 177 near Mascoutah.

Represented by Timothy C. Stubblefield of Belleville, Boerm claims she has suffered the loss of society and companionship of her mother, Judith M. Ohren, who was one of six people killed in a three-car accident Sept. 20, 2006.

Boerm is seeking in excess of $100,000 in damages.

According to the suit filed Sept. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, the defendants served alcohol to Myron Schanuel who became intoxicated and drove his vehicle. Schanuel crossed the center of the roadway and collided with the vehicle occupied by Judith Ohren, the suit says.

A similar lawsuit was filed the same day against Schanuel's estate, and defendants Okawville, Blue Room and Tower Fire Apparatus, by occupants of a third vehicle who were injured but survived the accident.

That suit alleges Schanuel -- who consumed alcohol at a golf outing during the day and drank at a tavern later on -- was impaired with an alcohol blood level of .220 when he drove a 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe across the center line into a vehicle occupied by members of the Ohren family of Alhambra -- Gary, 40, his wife Lora, 39, and their children Cody, 12, Emily, 7, and Gary's mother Judy Ohren, 64.

Schanuel of Smithton was 45.

After the impact with the Ohren vehicle, Schanuel drove his Tahoe into the Holtz's vehicle, according to the complaint. Schanuel was westbound and the Ohren and Holtz vehicles were eastbound.

Represented by Rhonda D. Fiss of Belleville, the Holtzes claim severe injuries, lost wages and medical and counseling expenses.

The suit states that the Ohren vehicle was occupied by Marsha Holtz's "best friend's family members."

The Holtzes also seek damages from golf tournament sponsor Tower Fire Apparatus, Inc., the village of Okawville, doing business as Okawville Golf Course, and the Blue Room tavern in New Minden.

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