Tractor moved too slowly on roadway, motorcyclist claims in suit

Ann Knef Jul. 16, 2008, 11:26am

Suzuki GSXR7501

Eddie LePes, Jr. of Mascoutah claims Jeff W. Richter of New Baden pulled a hay-bailer at a speed so low on Summerfield South Road in Mascoutah it caused him to sustain severe and permanent injuries.

Richter was operating an International Farm tractor while pulling a New Idea hay-bailer at approximately 9:03 p.m. on July 15, 2006, according to a lawsuit filed July 14 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

"Defendant did not have attached to his haybind two red rear tail lights on the left and right corners of his haybind while he was operating said haybind on a public road," the complaint states.

LePes was operating a Suzuki motorcycle, model GSXR7501, and approached the hay-bailer from the rear, the suit claims. Details of an impact are not described in the complaint.

LePes claims Richter violated state statute regarding the operation of farm implements on roadways.

"[E]very animal drawn vehicle, farm tractor, implement of husbandry...shall display to the rear at least one flashing amber signal lamp mounted as high as practicable and of sufficient intensity to be visible for a distance of at least 500 feet in normal sunlight; provided, that only the rear most vehicle of a combination of vehicles coupled together need display such lamp," the complaint states.

Represented by Ronald R. Duebbert of Belleville, LePes is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages plus costs of the suit.

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