Truck driver and Ritchie Brothers sued by estate over fatal accident

By The Madison County Record | Jun 10, 2014

The daughter of a recently deceased woman has filed suit against the driver she claims failed to adequately light the rear of his truck, causing her mother to collide with the vehicle.

Amber Brown filed suit May 23 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Frank Ruppert and Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers America Inc.

According to the complaint, Brown's mother, Margaret Hayes, was driving a 1998 Chevrolet Malibu south on Floraville Road in St. Clair County on Dec. 20, 2012, when she collided with a 2000 Case IH quad tractor defendant Ruppert was driving for defendant Ritchie Brothers Auctioneers America.

Hayes died in the collision and Brown lost her mother’s society, support, comfort, nature and guidance, according to the complaint. In addition, Brown incurred medical costs, the suit states.

Brown blames Ruppert for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to display at least one flashing amber signal lamp that was visible at least 500 feet away on the back of his vehicle, among other negligent acts.

Brown is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs. She is being represented by Van Lear P. Eckert of the Law Office of Van-Lear P. Eckkert in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-346.

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