Woman sues drivers involved in crash that killed her mother

Kelly Holleran Sep. 15, 2009, 9:20am

The child of a deceased woman claims her mother died after a driver lost control of the vehicle he was driving, causing an allegedly intoxicated driver to strike the vehicle the woman was driving.

Dawn Werner, administrator of the estate of Peggy A. Werner, filed a lawsuit Sept. 3 in Madison County Circuit Court against James L. Menzies, Kristin N. Jackson, Dennis W. Morgan and Julie A. Volz.

Dawn Werner claims her mother, Peggy Werner, was driving a 2001 Ford Escort north on Wesley Drive near its intersection with Old Oak Road in East Alton on Nov. 1.

At the same time, Menzies was driving a 1997 Pontiac Grand Am south on Wesley Drive near the same intersection and Morgan was driving a 1996 Mitsubishi Eclipse south in front of Menzies, according to the complaint.

"The vehicle of Defendant Morgan went out of control causing the vehicle of Defendant Menzies to collide with and strike the vehicle of the Decedent, Peggy A. Werner," the suit states.

At the time of the collision, Menzies was driving a vehicle Jackson had lent to him, even though she knew he was under the influence of alcohol and was unable to safely drive the vehicle, the complaint says.

Morgan was also driving a vehicle Volz had entrusted to him when the accident occurred, Dawn Werner claims.

As a result, Peggy Werner sustained severe injuries, resulting in her death, the complaint says.

At the time of her death, Peggy Werner left surviving her two children, Dawn and Holly Werner, who say they have sustained economic and non-economic damages due to the deprivation of their mother's society, companionship, guidance, advice, love and affection. In addition, they have experienced grief, sorrow and mental suffering and have been deprived of money their mother would have contributed, according to the complaint.

Dawn Werner blames Menzies for failing to stop or swerve to avoid a collision, for failing to apply his brakes, for driving too fast, for failing to keep his vehicle under control, for failing to keep a proper lookout and for failing to keep his vehicle in the proper lane of traffic.

Morgan negligently failed to apply his brakes, drove too fast, failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, failed to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles on the road and failed to keep his vehicle in the proper lane of traffic, according to the complaint.

In the eight-count suit, Dawn Werner is seeking a judgment of more than $400,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Stephen R. Wigginton, Frederick W. Keck and J. Brian Manion of Weilmuenster and Wigginton in Belleville will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-925.

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