Driver hurt by PVC pipe launched through windshield sues

Ann Knef Oct. 15, 2008, 3:50am

A Mascoutah construction company and one of its employees are being sued by a driver injured when PVC pipe was dislodged from a flatbed truck and crashed through his windshield on a St. Clair County roadway last year.

Mark Ochoa claims he was traveling west on Highway 161 in Mascoutah Township in his 2002 Mercedes Benz on May 25, 2007, as Kilian employee Robert S. Anstedt was traveling in the opposite direction in a 2002 Silverado.

According to the suit filed Oct. 8 in St.Clair County Circuit Court, Anstedt drove his vehicle at such speed that he "should have known that application of the brakes would cause the load of 4-inch PVC pipe to come off the flatbed and be launched into oncoming traffic."

Ochoa, represented by Thomas Q. Keefe, Jr. and Charles Hamilton of Belleville, claims the pipe struck him in the head, face, neck, hand, shoulder and other parts of his body. He suffered various facial fractures and claims he lost his sense of taste and smell, the suit claims.

Ochoa claims Anstedt was negligent for failing to secure the load of PVC pipe.

Linda Ochoa, Mark Ochoa's wife, is a co-plaintiff seeking damages. Together, they are asking for in excess of $300,000.

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