Tow truck driver sued by woman whose husband, son died in crash

Kelly Holleran Dec. 1, 2008, 7:33am

A Madison County woman has filed a suit against a Madison County man and the company for which he worked, alleging her husband and son were killed after the man collided with the rear of their vehicle.

Jessica Ellen Legens claims her husband, Donald Lee Legens, and her son, Donald Lee Legens, Jr., died on Nov. 14 and Nov. 17 after Mark Alan Ikerman collided with the back of Donald's stopped 1999 Kia Sportage.

Donald was stopped in the outer eastbound lane of West Pontoon Road, immediately west of its intersection with Briarcliff Lane, at about 12:08 a.m. when the incident occurred, according to the complaint filed Nov. 21 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Ikerman, who was driving a Chevrolet C5500 lift truck east on West Pontoon Road, "struck the rear of the vehicle in which Donald Lee Legans, Jr. was a restrained passenger and struck pedestrian Donald Lee Legens, and/or propelled the Legens' vehicle into Donald Lee Legens," the suit states.

At the time of the accident, Ikerman was working for Gateway St. Louis, Jessica claims.

Because of her son's and husband's deaths, Jessica claims she has suffered grief and sorrow and has been deprived of their services, companionship, comfort, love and support.

Ikerman was negligent because he failed to reduce his speed, drove too fast, failed to swerve to avoid hitting Donald and the Kia, failed to sound his horn, failed to yield the right-of-way, failed to keep a lookout and drove while under the influence of alcohol, according to the complaint.

Gateway was negligent because it allowed Ikerman to drive its truck when it knew he had multiple citations, including careless and imprudent, speeding, disobey traffic device, improper left turn, improper passing, point suspension and point revocation, the suit states.

"Gateway St. Louis either had no established business practice to determine dangerous proclivities of its employees before and after hiring Mark A. Ikerman or failed to exercise ordinary care in connection with its hiring and retention of Mark A. Ikerman," the suit states.

In the six-count suit, Jessica is seeking a judgment in excess of $300,000, plus costs.

Kevin J. Davidson and David M. Zevan of The Zevan and Davidson Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing her.

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