Suit filed over fatal '09 accident

By Andrea Dearden | Feb 14, 2011

The survivor of a car crash in Madison County that took the lives of several members of her family is suing the alleged drunk driver that caused the crash.

Takia Jackson and her father, Arnold Jackson Jr., filed a lawsuit on behalf of Tawanda Jackson and Arnold Jackson III Jan. 31 in Madison County Circuit Court. Newton Michael Keene, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and Premier Entertainment Hazelwood LLC, owner of the Pink Galleon bar in St. Louis County, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, Keene was an uninsured driver with multiple drunk driving convictions and a suspended license. In February 2009, he allegedly left the Pink Galleon intoxicated and drove in the wrong direction on the highway. He then allegedly crashed into an oncoming car, killing Tawanda and Arnold Jackson III and injuring Takia Jackson.

The Jacksons are suing Progressive Casualty Insurance, Tawanda's carrier, for benefits under the uninsured provision of that policy. They accuse Keene of negligence and Premier Entertainment of violating the Missouri and Illinois Dram Shop Acts.

They claim they are entitled to damages through Illinois' Survival Act and are asking for an unspecified amount of money to cover medical expenses, loss of financial benefit and the costs of the lawsuit.

Attorney Brian Stokes of St. Louis is representing the Jacksons.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-96

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