Driver rammed car, causing passenger's death, suit claims

By Kelly Holleran | Jun 18, 2009

The administratix of a deceased woman's estate has filed suit against the man who he says caused her death after he struck the vehicle in which she was riding.

Artimese Russell says Sharae Jaundel Williams was riding in a vehicle Okiechia Travis was driving north on Interstate Highway 55/70 from St. Clair Avenue in East St. Louis on April 2.

At the same time, defendant Charles E. West Jr. was driving in the same direction when "he overtook and rammed the vehicle in which Williams was seated and caused said vehicle to come in contact with the vehicle being driven by Okiechia Travis," the suit filed June 9 in St. Clair County District Court states.

Because of the collision, Williams died.

West was negligent by failing to keep a proper lookout, by failing to properly apply his brakes, by driving without adequate brakes and by driving too fast, according to the complaint. West also negligently failed to drive with adequate tires, drove in such a way that he struck the vehicle in which Williams was riding, failed to decrease his speed, failed to undertake an alternative route, failed to reduce his speed and failed to yield the right-of-way to oncoming traffic, the complaint says.

At the time of the collision, Russell was working for Specialized Transport, which is also named as a defendant in the suit.

In the two-count complaint, Russell is seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by MacArthur Moten of MacArthur Moten in St. Louis and by Freeman R. Bosley Jr. of Bosley and Associates in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-301.

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