A driver who struck an occupied police vehicle while driving through an intersection is being sued by the passenger who was sitting handcuffed in the back of the cruiser.

Alisha D. Burke filed a lawsuit May 8 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Mark Robinson.

In her complaint, Burke claims she was riding in handcuffs in the backseat of a 2013 Ford Taurus, which was being operated by Alton Police officer Stephen W. January, on Sept. 9. January stopped at the intersection of Pearl and Silver streets in Alton when Robinson, who was driving a 2005 Ford 500 on Pearl Street, collided with Robinson’s vehicle.

Because of the collision, Burke suffered severe and permanent injuries, endured disability and disfigurement and sustained great physical pain and mental anguish, the suit states. She also lost earnings and incurred medical costs, the complaint says.

Burke blames Robinson for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, failed to observe Burke’s vehicle, failed to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles, drove into January’s stopped vehicle and failed to drive entirely within his own lane.

Burke is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs. She is being represented by Stephen C. Buser of the Law Office of Stephen C. Buser in Columbia.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-681.

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