Construction company accused of causing crash below Collinsville overpass

Andrea Dearden Oct. 19, 2010, 3:37am

A Madison County woman is suing the construction company and three drivers she says are responsible for a crash in Collinsville in May.

Deborah Russell filed the lawsuit against Keeley & Sons Inc., Morgan Hensler, Nathan Varble and Cathy Russell Oct. 8 in Madison County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, Keeley & Sons was in charge of a construction project on the Interstate 55/70 overpass above Beltline Road in Collinsville. On May 7, Russell says she was riding in a vehicle driven by defendant Cathy Russell.

Deborah Russell says she and Cathy Russell were driving west on Beltline, near the construction zone, when a Keeley & Sons vehicle dropped water and debris to the road below.

Russell says defendants Nathan Varble and Morgan Hensler were also driving west on Beltline – one in front of Cathy Russell's vehicle and one behind.

When the water and debris fell onto Beltline Road, Russell says Varble stopped suddenly, prompting a chain reaction crash. Russell says she suffered extensive injuries to her back, legs and ankle in the collision.

Russell contends Keeley & Sons was negligent for failing to conduct construction activities in a safe and proper manner, failing to prevent water and debris from falling onto the road below the overpass and failing to properly warn drivers of the hazards.

She accuses Varble, Hensler and Cathy Russell of driving at an excessive speed, failing to keep a proper lookout and failing to brake in time to avoid a collision.

Russell is asking to be compensated for medical expenses, a loss of earning capacity, disability, pain and suffering and the loss of a normal life.

Attorney Joseph R. Hillebrand of Kassly, Bone, English & Hillebrand in Belleville is representing Russell.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-1047

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