Overloaded trailer caused fatal accident, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Jul. 3, 2009, 4:39am

A man has filed suit against a St. Clair County company and one of its employees, alleging he sustained severe burns and the passenger riding in the car with him died as the result of a collision.

Brian Luhr says he was driving north on Illinois Route 3 in a Ford F150 pickup truck on May 23 at about 2:42 p.m. Tracy Luhr was riding with him, according to the complaint filed June 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

At the same time, Robert Ehert was pulling a trailer behind a 2004 Chevrolet pick up truck for MC Rentals, also known as MC Electric, south on Illinois Route 3, the complaint says.

Suddenly, about 515 feet north of Route 3's intersection with Amberwood Lane, Ehert lost control of the trailer and the Chevrolet, causing the collision that killed Tracy Luhr and seriously injured Brian Luhr, the suit states.

In addition to his significant burns, Brian Luhr says he was made sick, sore and lame, suffered fractures to his right leg, ribs, spine and facial bones and experienced disability, disfigurement, pain and a diminished earning capacity and ability to enjoy life. He also incurred substantial medical costs, according to the complaint.
Ehert drove too fast considering the size and load capacity of the vehicle he was operating, failed to equip the trailer he was driving with operating electric brakes, overloaded the trailer and failed to train himself in the use and control of motor vehicle/trailer combinations, the suit states.

MC Rentals negligently allowed Ehert to use its truck and trailer in a dangerous manner, the complaint says.

In the four-count suit, Brian Luhr is seeking a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief a jury deems just.
He is represented by Jerald J. Bonifield of the Law Offices of Bonifield and Rosenstengel in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-333.

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