Tractor-trailers collide on I-55, suit follows

Kelly Holleran Sep. 15, 2008, 5:12am

An East Alton couple has filed suit against a Fairview Heights man and the Illinois corporation he worked for, claiming the husband was injured after a collision.

Thomas L. and Betty Edwards allege Thomas was driving a maroon 2007 Freightliner tractor-trailer south on Interstate 55 when it struck a 1992 silver International Model 9400 tractor-trailer, according to a complaint filed Sept. 9.

The couple claims Gary D. Collier, an employee of Millstadt Rendering Co., was driving the 9400 tractor-trailer north on Interstate 55 for his job on Sept. 24 at 3:31 a.m.

Collier lost control of the vehicle and it eventually came to rest on the southbound road "amidst a cloud of smoke and dust," the suit states.

After Thomas collided with the vehicle Collier was driving, he claims he was thrown against various parts of his vehicle and injured his chest, right hip, leg and foot.

As a result of the collision, Thomas has lost wages and has suffered great pain and a permanent disability and disfigurement, according to the complaint.

He has also incurred medical expenses, the suit states.

Betty has been deprived of Thomas's society and services, including his support, devotion, care, society and consortium, according to the complaint.

The Edwards claim Collier had a duty to operate his vehicle safely, but violated that duty because he failed to properly inspect his vehicle before he drove.

They also claim Collier drove a vehicle with defective tires, brakes and steering mechanism, failed to properly control the vehicle, failed to decrease the speed of his vehicle to avoid a collision, failed to clear the vehicle from the roadway to prevent a collision, failed to warn oncoming drivers that the vehicle was blocking the roadway and was careless and negligent.

The Edwards claim Millstadt Rendering Co. was negligent because it failed to properly inspect its vehicles, failed to maintain the vehicle and failed to entrust its vehicle to a driver who could properly control it.

They are seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs.

They have demanded a jury trial.

Donald M. Flack of Flack Law Office in Wood River will be representing the Edwards.

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