A Carlyle man has filed a suit on behalf of his deceased 15-year-old relative against Cypress Media, the McClatchy Company and the estate of a Highland man, claiming she was killed after being ejected from a vehicle.
John Buettikoffer claims Jenera L. Buettikoffer was riding in a car with 18-year-old William Beal, who was delivering newspapers for The Belleville News Democrat at the time of the accident, according to the complaint filed Oct. 15 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.
Beal was driving east in his 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt on Lee Road on Oct. 13, 2007, at 8:35 a.m., the suit states.
At the same time, Jay Schreiber, the Highland man, was driving his 1996 Chevrolet pickup truck north on Schumacher Road, which intersect with Lee Road, according to the complaint.
Lee Road has a stop sign, but Schumacher Road has no traffic control devices, the suit states.
The vehicles Beal and Schreiber were driving collided that morning, and all three people, including Jenera, were ejected from them, according to the complaint.
Jenera suffered severe head trauma and died Oct. 13, the suit states.
John claims Jenera's next-of-kin suffered the loss of her love, society, and affection.
In addition, they suffered grief, sorrow and mental suffering, according to the complaint.
John claims Cypress Media was negligent through its employee, Beal, who drove too fast, failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision, failed to obey a traffic control device and failed to keep a proper lookout.
The company also negligently failed to check Beal's driving record, hired Beal when they should have known he had multiple driving violations, failed to supervise Beal and kept him as an employee when it should have known he had speeding violations, the suit states.
Schreiber was negligent because he drove too fast, failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision and failed to keep a proper lookout for other vehicles, according to the complaint.
In the five-count suit, John seeks a judgment in excess of $250,000, plus costs of the suit.
David Cates of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli, and Rowland will be representing him.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-516.