Plaintiff claims children injured in stranded vehicle

By Kelly Holleran | May 16, 2011

A woman has filed suit against the driver who she claims rear-ended her vehicle as it sat stranded in the middle of the road with three children inside.

Latrina Hudson claims Arrick Hudson was driving a black 2001 Volkswagon Passat west on Missouri Avenue in East St. Louis on Jan. 3 when the vehicle was struck on the passenger door by an unidentified male driver.

"The impact disabled the Passat and forced it into eastbound oncoming traffic," the suit filed April 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states. "The Passat then came to rest facing eastbound on Missouri Avenue, just west of 29th St., with the front of the Passat in the left (inside) lane and the rear of the Passat in the right (outside) lane. At that time, the Passat shut down, the wheels locked and could not be restarted."

Arrick Hudson leaped out of the vehicle and tried to alert eastbound traffic of his stranded vehicle, the complaint says. Cars traveling in both lanes stopped, and one passenger also exited a vehicle to help direct traffic, Latrina Hudson claims.

Defendant Karen Laflen drove a blue 2008 Chrysler Pacifica east on Missouri Avenue when she encountered the stopped vehicles and struck the rear of Arrick Hudson's stopped vehicle, according to the complaint.

"Following this second impact to the Passat, Defendant Laflen exited her vehicle and shouted something to the effect of, 'I'm sorry; I didn't know there were children in the car!'" the suit states.

Because of the collision, minor Jameris Wilkerson, who was riding as a passenger, suffered injuries to his neck, back and head, including a brain bleed that has resulted in a permanent neurological injury, the complaint says. In addition, Latrina Hudson claims Wilkerson sustained pain and suffering and lost his enjoyment of life.

Latrina Hudson incurred significant medical costs because of her son's injuries, according to the complaint.

Latrina Hudson blames Laflen for striking the rear of the Passat, saying Laflen negligently failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to reduce her speed, failed to stop her vehicle in time to avoid a collision, drove too fast and failed to warn of her oncoming approach.

In her two-count complaint, Latrina Hudson is seeking a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

K. Lindsay Rakers of The Cagle Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-192.

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