East St. Louis accident keeps injured from military duty, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Apr. 30, 2010, 5:54am

A master sergeant and a sergeant first class in the U.S. Army claim they could not return to their military duties for a period of time after a driver struck them when the driver attempted to enter a one-way road in the wrong direction.

Tyrone Jones and Gregory D. Powell filed a lawsuit April 22 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Alexander Felton Jr., Robert Todd McKinney, John Q. McKinney and Belinda McKinney doing business as McKinney's Hauling.

Jones and Powell claim they rode in a vehicle operated by Christopher M. Williams, which he drove west on Baugh Avenue at its intersection with North 15th Street in East St. Louis on July 29, 2008, at about 3:06 p.m. when the incident occurred.

"The vehicle in which plaintiff was a passenger was stopped at the intersection at a traffic control device, waiting for the light to turn from red to green," the suit states. "The vehicle Defendant Alexander Felton Jr. was operating collided with the vehicle in which plaintiff was a passenger, causing the plaintiff to receive serious injury."

At the time of the accident, Felton drove a vehicle for McKinney's Hauling, a company owned by defendants Robert Todd McKinney, John Q. McKinney and Belinda McKinney, the complaint says.

Because of the collision, Jones and Powell became sick, sore, lame, disordered and disabled; received injuries to their bones; suffered disability and loss of a normal life; and experienced pain, suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, according to the complaint. In addition, the U.S. military incurred medical costs for their treatments and had to pay their wages because of their inability to perform military duties, the suit states.

The plaintiffs blame Felton for causing the accident, saying he failed to keep a proper lookout, drove too fast, failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, turned the wrong way into a one-way street, failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision, drove with faulty brakes and drove on a suspended license.

In their six-count complaint, the plaintiffs seek a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs.

Daniel R. Price of Wham and Wham Attorneys in Centralia will be representing them.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-190.

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