Wood River police negligence trial opens Monday

Amelia Flood May 8, 2009, 4:30am


A suit claiming negligence by a Wood River police officer during a chase that led to a girl's injuries goes to trial Monday. The 2006 lawsuit stems from a motorcycle crash in the village of Roxana.

Madison Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth will preside. Both the officer and the City of Wood River are named as defendants. The trial opens at 9 a.m.

Plaintiff Karen Mitchell is suing on behalf of herself and her daughter, April Harshbarger, a minor. According to the complaint, Harshbarger was riding on the back of a motorcycle when Wood River police officer Hugh Noble gave chase to the speeding cycle. The plaintiff claims that Noble drove at a dangerous speed, ran stop signs and did not immediately aid Harshbarger after the cycle crashed. According to the complaint, Harshbarger suffered pain, serious injuries and permanent disability from the crash.

The plaintiff is seeking damages of at $50,000 plus medical and other costs for eight counts of negligence.

The plaintiff is represented by Alton attorney Edward Unsell. The defendants are both represented by attorney Charles Pierce.

The case number is Madison case number 06-L-416.

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