Ohio woman sues teen driver over I-270 crash

Kelly Holleran Mar. 4, 2010, 8:45am

An Ohio woman claims she suffered serious and permanent bodily injury after a 16-year-old driver lost control of her vehicle and crashed into the woman's van on the interstate.

Mary Hoft filed a lawsuit March 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against Samantha Barzoff through her father, Charles Barzoff.

Hoft claims she and her family were traveling to Columbia, Mo., from their home in Cincinnati, Ohio. To get there, Hoft drove a family van west on Interstate 270 near its intersection with Illinois Highway 159 at about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, 2008, according to the complaint.

At the same time, Samantha Barzoff drove extremely fast south on Highway 159 on an entrance ramp to Interstate 270, the suit states.

"Due to the high rate of speed and erratic driving, Barzoff lost control of her vehicle causing it to strike the fence separating the median between the eastbound and westbound lanes of I-270," the complaint says. "Eventually it ricocheted off the fence and spun out of control placing it directly in the pathway of the Hoft vehicle. Plaintiff applied the brakes on her vehicle, but was unable to avoid striking defendant's vehicle."

Because of the crash, in addition to her injury, Hoft suffered pain, discomfort and mental anguish; lost her normal life and earnings; experienced a diminished earning capacity; incurred medical bills; and has been restricted from her usual activities, according to the complaint.

She blames Samantha Barzoff for causing the collision, saying she drove too fast, failed to keep her vehicle under control, failed to use every precaution to avoid a collision and drove in a careless manner.

At the time of the crash, Samantha Barzoff drove her dad's vehicle with his permission, Hoft claims. Charles Barzoff negligently allowed his vehicle to be driven by a person who he knew would be careless and reckless with it, the suit states.

In the two-count suit, Hoft seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Al W. Johnson of the Law Offices of Al W. Johnson in St. Louis will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-212.

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