Suit filed over fatal motorcycle accident in Alton

By The Madison County Record | Jun 18, 2014


A man has filed suit against the allegedly intoxicated driver who caused a collision and the deaths of two motorcyclists.

Jeff Benner filed a lawsuit June 9 in the Madison County Circuit Court against Jeffrey Rynders and Shadi Inc.

In his complaint, Benner alleges Gary and Lora Wright were traveling on a motorcycle and were heading east on Landmarks Boulevard at its intersection with Clark Bridge in Alton on Sept. 15. Suddenly, defendant Rynders, who was driving west on the same street and attempting to make a left-hand turn, veered in front of the Wrights’ motorcycle and struck it, according to the complaint.

Following the collision, Rynders attempted to escape the scene on foot, the suit states. Three eyewitnesses caught him and wrestled him to the ground until police arrived, the complaint says.

Benner claims Rynders later admitted to consuming two pints of Country Club vodka while working at Cheapies Tires in Alton, then getting into his vehicle and causing the wreck.

Because of the collision, the Wrights both died, according to the complaint. Due to their deaths, their three adult children were deprived of their parents’ companionship, support, services, friendship and love, the suit states.

Benner blames Rynders for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to yield the right-of-way, failed to keep his vehicle under proper control, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to stop in time to avoid a collision, failed to give a proper signal, failed to obey traffic control signals, failed to reduce his speed and drove while intoxicated.

Benner names Shadi as a defendant, saying it sold Rynders the alcohol he drank while working at his job.

Benner is seeking a judgment of more than $400,000, plus costs. He is being represented by Michael P. Glisson of Williamson, Webster, Falb and Glisson in Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-835.

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