I-64 on-ramp accident is subject of suit

Kelly Holleran Jun. 5, 2009, 5:32am

The mother of a minor girl and a Glen Carbon woman say they were seriously injured after a car tried to pass them as they were attempting to merge onto Interstate 64 from the on ramp.

On May 27, Crystal Beard and Rebecca Beard filed a lawsuit individually and on behalf of her minor daughter, Brittany Beard, against Kimberly E. Naguit, Frederick Riddle and Swift Transportation Company in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs say Brittany Beard and Crystal Beard were riding in a 1996 Toyota Camry driven by Sarah L. Wagoner on July 11, 2007.
Wagoner was driving on the on ramp from Illinois Route 159 and attempted to merge onto Interstate 64 westbound, according to the complaint.

At the same time, Naguit was driving her 2007 Toyota behind Wagoner. While Wagoner was waiting for traffic to clear, Naguit attempted to pass Wagoner and merge into traffic, the suit states.

She was not successful in her attempts, and a Volvo semi tractor-trailer driven by Riddle crashed into Naguit, causing her to collide with the vehicle in which the Beards were riding, the complaint says.

Because of the collision, Brittany Beard's and Crystal Beard's soft tissues, ligaments, tendons, bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues of their spines, necks, backs, shoulders and upper extremities were injured and they experienced pain and suffering, the plaintiffs claim. In addition, both women incurred medical costs, lost their normal life and suffered an impaired earning capacity, according to the complaint.

Rebecca Beard says she, too, incurred medical costs in treating her daughter's injuries.

Naguit and Riddle negligently drove without regard for others' safety, drove too fast, failed to adjust their speed to avoid a collision, failed to exercise reasonable care, failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to yield the right-of-way, the suit states.
In addition, Naguit was negligent by failing to drive within a single lane.

At the time of the collision, Riddle was working for Swift Transportation, so the company is vicariously liable, the complaint says.

In the six-count suit, the Beards are seeking a judgment in excess of $300,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.
Christine E. Anderson and Fritz G. Faerber of Faerber and Anderson in St. Louis will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-275.

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