Carol Ostrow Sep. 16, 2015, 10:30am


A woman claims she was struck by another motorist after a St. Clair County police officer allegedly cut her off while attempting to pass her vehicle.

Tawana Payne filed a lawsuit on Aug. 19 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Carrol Rinehart III, St. Clair County, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department of Belleville, and Jason Williams, alleging several counts of negligence in August 2014 automobile collisions in Shiloh.

According to the complaint, Payne was driving eastbound on Interstate 64 on or about Aug. 20, 2014, when Rinehart, a police officer, allegedly attempted to improperly pass and cut off her vehicle, resulting in Payne's vehicle being struck by Williams' vehicle. The suit states that Rinehart was on duty, but not involved in a law enforcement and/or emergency situation at the time.

Payne alleges Rinehart operated his vehicle “at an outrageously high and excessive rate of speed for the time of day and area of travel,” failed to keep a lookout, observe the plaintiff, reduce speed, control his vehicle, and follow proper protocol. Payne claims to have sustained severe and permanent injuries.

Williams is accused of negligently operating his vehicle and striking the plaintiff's car. The suit did not state the exact circumstances of Williams’ alleged collision.

Claiming loss of income and earning capacity, property damage, and medical bills as a direct and proximate result of the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff seeks more than $50,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs. She is represented by Patrick Johnston and Benjamin Stephens of Johnston Law Offices in Edwardsville .

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-469

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