Fatality caused by texting driver allegedly under influence of marijuana, suit says

Andrea Dearden Apr. 11, 2011, 3:55am

The daughter of a Madison County man killed in a car crash is suing the driver of the car that allegedly rear-ended her father and pushed him into oncoming traffic.

Michele Harris, on behalf of the estate of Louis Johnson, filed the lawsuit April 1 in Madison County Circuit Court against Ranada M. Ridenhour.

According to the complaint, Johnson was stopped at the intersection of North Alby Street and Big Arch Road in Alton in November 2010. Harris says Ridenhour, while allegedly under the influence of marijuana and using her phone to send text messages, tried to pass a car by driving on the right shoulder of North Alby.

Harris claims Ridenhour crashed into the back of Johnson's car, forcing him into the opposite lane of traffic where he was hit by another vehicle. Harris alleges the injuries caused by the impact of both crashes killed her father.

Harris accuses Ridenhour of negligence and asks for an unspecified amount of money in damages plus court costs.

She is represented by attorney David N. Damick of St. Louis.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-305

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