Trooper traveling 126 mph caused accident, suit says

Kelly Holleran Nov. 25, 2008, 6:34am

Two Fayetteville residents have filed suit against an Illinois state trooper, alleging they were seriously injured after he crossed the interstate in his police cruiser and collided with their vehicle while on his way to the scene of another accident.

Christine and Kelly Marler were traveling west on Interstate 64 on Nov. 23, 2007, at 12:02 p.m., near the Illinois Route 158 overpass when Matthew Mitchell, who was driving east on Interstate 64, crossed the median and struck the vehicle in which the Marlers were riding, according to the complaint filed Nov. 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Mitchell was supposedly traveling to the scene of an accident that had occurred at 11:37 a.m., when he collided with the Marlers, the suit states.

By 11:50 a.m., the victim in the accident had been taken to the hospital, the Marlers claim.

More than 10 minutes had elapsed between the time the victim was transported to the hospital and the time Mitchell got into his collision, according to the complaint.

In addition, "just seconds prior to the collision which injured Plaintiff Christine Marler, Defendant Matthew Mitchell was driving his vehicle at a speed of 126 miles per hour," the suit states.

Because of the accident, Christine claims she sustained permanent injuries to her right patella and right leg, which required surgery, and pain in her body and mind.

Christine was in the last trimester of pregnancy at the time of the collision and was forced to give birth in an awkward, unnatural and severely painful position because of the cast on her right leg, according to the complaint.

In addition, Christine was prevented from attending to her usual affairs and duties, incurred medical expenses and experienced disability, pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, the suit states.

Kelly claims he suffered permanent injures to his scapholunate ligament and an occult right dorsal wrist ganglion.

He also is prevented from attending to his usual affairs and duties and incurred substantial medical expenses, disability, pain, suffering, loss of income and earning capacity and a loss of enjoyment of life.

The Marlers claim Mitchell was negligent because he drove too fast, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to keep his vehicle under control and failed to stop or swerve to avoid a collision.

In the two-count suit, the Marlers are seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by Troy E. Walton of The Rex Carr Law Firm in East St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-597.

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