Driver without license crossed center line, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Feb. 2, 2009, 10:47am

A Missouri woman claims she was injured after a Missouri man who did not have a license drove a vehicle across the dividing line of traffic and collided with her.

Verna Martin was a passenger in a vehicle driving north on Illinois Route 3 on Jan. 27, 2007, at about 6:27 a.m. when the vehicle in which she was riding was struck head-on by the 2007 Dodge Magnum Christopher Lee Pate was driving, according to the complaint filed Jan. 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Audrey and Maurice Levelle Walker lent Pate the vehicle he was driving when the incident occurred, the suit states.

Because of the accident, Martin was severely injured, incurred significant medical costs, experienced pain and suffering and lost wages, the suit states.

Martin claims her earning capacity has also been impaired and that she has suffered disability and disfigurement.

Pate was negligent by failing to reduce his speed, by driving on the left side of the center line, by failing to maintain a proper lookout, by failing to exercise ordinary care and by driving in an improper and careless manner, according to the complaint.

Pate should not have been driving because he was inexperienced, reckless and did not have a valid driver's license, the suit states.

The Walkers should have known of Pate's incompetence, Martin alleges.

In the three-count suit, Martin is seeking a judgment in excess of $150,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

She is represented by Mark T. McCloskey and Patricia N. McCloskey of McCloskey in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-0042.

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