Accident that caused 4-year-old's death is subject of suit

Andrea Dearden Jan. 19, 2012, 1:00am


The mother of a young child killed in a head-on crash claims one wrong-way driver and another driver allegedly under the influence of drugs are to blame for her daughter's death.

Kaci Eberlin, individually and on behalf of her deceased daughter, filed a lawsuit Jan. 12 in Madison County Circuit Court against Harold Hardwick and Jacobson Transportation. Vera D. Kuebrich, individually and as special administrator of the estate of Christopher J. Kuebrich, is also named as a defendant.

According to the complaint, Eberlin's 4-year-old daughter was a passenger in a Ford Taurus owned by Vera Kuebrich and driven by Christopher Kuebrich in January 2011. Christopher was allegedly driving the car south in the northbound lane of U.S. Highway 67. Eberlin claims the man did not have the vehicle's headlights on and drove into the path of oncoming traffic.

Eberlin says Kuebrich suffered from uncontrolled diabetes which led to fluctuating blood sugar levels and episodes of blackouts. She says the driver was having a medical emergency which caused him to drive erratically the night of the crash.

Kuebrich drove south at a slow rate of speed in the northbound lane of the highway, according to the complaint. As he neared the intersection of Davidson Road in Jersey County, the driver allegedly crashed into a Volvo tractor-trailer owned by Jacobson Transportation and driven by Harold Hardwick.

At the time of collision, Hardwick was allegedly under the influence of marijuana and morphine. Hardwick has already pleaded guilty to a drug charge in relation to the crash, court documents show. Kuebrich and Eberlin's 4-year-old daughter were killed in the head-on collision.

Eberlin accuses Hardwick, Jacobson Transportation and Vera Kuebrich of negligence. She is also suing the estate of Christopher Kuebrich for the wrongful death of her daughter. Eberlin asks for a judgment of more than $200,000 in damages plus court costs.

Eberlin is represented by attorneys Lanny Darr and Carla Tolbert of Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-52

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