Jogger sues driver for serious injuries

By Ann Knef | May 30, 2006

A woman who was struck by a drunken driver while on an early morning jog in Lebanon, is suing the driver and his parents for serious injuries she sustained on May 27, 2004.

Louise Cerneka, who was thrown 53 feet and knocked unconscious after impact, filed suit against Frank J. Pikul III, and his parents, Danuta Pikul, M.D. and Frank J. Pikul, M.D. in St. Clair County Circuit Court on May 19.

She claims head, face, leg and arm injuries.

According to the complaint, Pikul swerved violently and struck Cerneka who was headed southbound on Alton Street in Lebanon.

She claims Pikul's blood-alcohol concentration was .140 -- nearly twice the legal limit of .08 -- when tested by a police officer at the scene at 5:42 a.m.

In June 2004, Pikul was indicted by a grand jury on charges of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, a class 4 felony.

On March 20, Pikul pleaded guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor driving while under the influence of alcohol and was placed on two years court supervision.

Represented by Justin M. Whitton of Clayton, Mo., Cerneka seeks in excess of $150,000 in damages.

Pikul's parents are named in the lawsuits for negligently allowing their son to drive the 2000 Ford Focus which they owned.

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