Woman claims truck hit her vehicle parked on I-270

Kelly Holleran Sep. 28, 2010, 10:50am

A woman has filed suit against the truck driver who she claims struck the rear of her vehicle as it was parked on the side of the highway.

Vanessa Hartwick claims she was sitting in the driver's side of a 2002 Pontiac Sunfire on Dec. 19, 2009, as it was parked in the north lane of Interstate 270 westbound near mile post 0 in Madison County.

Suddenly, defendant Michael F. Arnold, who was driving a 1996 International truck tractor on Interstate 270 westbound, struck the rear of the Sunfire, according to the complaint filed Sept. 17 in Madison County Circuit Court.

Because of the collision, Hartwick's car was destroyed and rendered unusable, the suit states. In addition, Hartwick sustained severe and permanent injuries to her vertebral column, lower back, pelvis and neck; incurred medical costs; experienced great pain and suffering; suffered psychological and emotional injury, the complaint says.

Hartwick blames Arnold for causing the collision, saying he negligently drove too fast, failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to keep his vehicle under control and failed to stop or swerve to avoid a collision. In addition, Arnold negligently operated a vehicle with inadequate brakes and drove in such a manner that the front end of his vehicle collided with the rear of Hartwick's, according to the complaint.

Not only does Hartwick name Arnold as a defendant, but she also names Dohrn Transfer Company, which was Arnold's employer at the time of the collision.

Hartwick seeks a judgment of more than $150,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Michael Goldberg of Dobson, Goldberg, Berns and Rich in St. Louis will be representing her.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-972.

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