Defendants in a wrongful death action alleging two minor girls were fatally injured in an automobile accident have filed counter claims against the vehicle’s driver, alleging he was driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and inappropriately stopped his vehicle on the highway.

Plaintiff Debra Dyer-Webster filed the Oct. 20 lawsuit against Access Courier, Inc., Contractor Solutions, LLC, Senad Hodzic and Alfredo McGee.

According to her complaint, Dyer-Webster alleges Alicea McGee and Anastashia McGee were riding in a 2000 Chevrolet Impala that had become disabled in the northbound lanes on Interstate Highway 55 in Macoupin County on Oct. 25, 2013. The suit claims Hodzic smashed into the back of the Impala while driving a Ford Econoline E250. Hodzic was working for Access Courier and Contractor Solutions at the time of the accident, the suit states.

As a result of the collision, Alicea and Annastashia McGee suffered severe and catastrophic injuries that led to their deaths, the complaint states.

Dyer-Webster blames the defendants for causing the collision, saying they negligently failed to keep their vehicle under proper control, failed to keep a proper lookout and failed to pull a vehicle off the traveled portion of the highway.

Access Courier and Contractor Solutions answered the complaint on Nov. 21. They denied the allegations against it and filed a cross-claim against driver Alfredo McGee.

They claim McGee was negligent and failed to operate his vehicle appropriately. Specifically, the defendants accuse McGee of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, drove at such a slow speed below the minimum speed limit that he blocked the normal movement of traffic, placed his vehicle in danger on the highway, improperly stopped his vehicle on the highway without proper warning of his intentions, failed to move his vehicle to the shoulder of the road and should have known that his actions would result in an accident.

Hodzic answered the complaint on Dec. 1 denying the allegations against him. He also filed a third-party contribution complaint against McGee asserting the same allegations as Access Courier and Contractor Solutions.

Dyer-Webster seeks a judgment of more than $1.5 million, plus costs.

Circuit Judge Robert LeChien scheduled a status conference for Feb. 10 at 9:30 a.m.

Acess Courier and Contractor Solutions are represented by Kevin L. Fritz and Patrick E. Foppe of Lashly & Baer, P.C. in St. Louis.

Hodzic is represented by David O. Hesi of the Law Offices of Bingley, Hart & Hesi in St. Louis and Todd Sivia of Sivia Business & Legal Services in Edwardsville.

The plaintiff is represented by Thomas Q. Keefe Jr. of Keefe and Keefe in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-701

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