Alleged intoxication caused Wood River accident, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Aug. 17, 2012, 3:43am


A man claims he sustained right shoulder, back and neck injuries after an allegedly intoxicated driver struck his vehicle.

Alonzo Fletcher filed a lawsuit Aug. 8 in Madison County Circuit Court against Rodney Vahle.

In his complaint, Fletcher alleges he drove west on Ferguson Avenue at its intersection with Fifth Street in Wood River on Aug. 26, 2010, when Vahle, who was driving north on Fifth Street, struck him.

"At the scene of the accident, defendant Rodney Vahle advised the reporting sergeant that the accident was his fault," the suit states. "While speaking to the defendant, the R/S smelled an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, and the defendant had slurred speech and glassy eyes."

Vahle agreed to take a breathalyzer and blew a .164, the complaint says. In addition, Fletcher claims police found a cooler with four empty 12-ounce Bud Light cans in Vahle's vehicle.

Because of the collision, in addition to his injuries, Fletcher suffered great pain and mental anguish, suffered disability and lost his normal life, according to the complaint. In addition, he incurred medical costs, lost wages and incurred property damages, the suit states.

Fletcher blames Vahle for causing the collision, saying he negligently drove while intoxicated, failed to yield the right-of-way, failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop to avoid a collision, failed to give a signal to avoid a collision, failed to reduce his speed to avoid the accident and drove without safe brakes.

In his complaint, Fletcher seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Michael P. Glisson of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton will be representing him.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1229.

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