Family smashed between two semis sues drivers, trucking company

A Collinsville family is suing two drivers and a Madison County trucking company after the car they were riding in was allegedly smashed between two semi-trucks. Carrie L., John G. and Adam L. Baker filed a lawsuit Oct. 16 in Madison County Circuit Court against Willie Lewis, Gregory L. Barnhart and USA Truck Inc. The Bakers says they were riding in their Pontiac Montana in December 2010 and heading east on Interstate 70 in Effingham County. Around milepost 102 near the Township of St. Francis Carrie, who was behind the wheel, says she stopped the car and put on the hazard lights because traffic in front of her had stopped due to heavy snow on the road. According to the complaint, the International Harvester truck being driven by Barnhart and owned by USA Trucks was directly behind the Baker's car. At that time, Lewis, driving another tractor-trailer owned by USA Trucks, was also heading east on I-70. Lewis allegedly failed to stop for traffic and rear-ended Barnhart's truck. The Bakers claim the collision forced Barnhart's truck to crash into the back of their Pontiac, which was then smashed into the semi-truck in front of it. The Bakers, including their son Adam who suffers from multiple sclerosis, were seriously injured in the crash, the lawsuit claims. Lewis, Barnhart and USA Trucking are accused of negligence. The Bakers ask for more than $300,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court costs. Attorneys Fritz G. Faerber and Christine E. Anderson of St. Louis represent them. Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-1668

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