The Wood River Police Department and Sgt. Darin Redden on Dec. 13 filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed Redden’s police car slammed into her vehicle.
Vickie M. Oetken claims she was driving her 2009 Chevrolet Impala north on Route 111 at its intersection with Route 143 on Oct. 28, 2011.
Oetken was driving through a green light when Redden, a Wood River police officer, allegedly entered the intersection without an activated siren, and struck Oetken’s vehicle, according to the complaint filed Oct. 25 in Madison County Circuit Court.
According to the motion to dismiss, Redden cannot be liable in negligence, because he was engaged in the enforcement of Illinois law, operating a Wood River police squad car with emergency lights on, pursuing a vehicle speeding. A public employee is not liable for his omission in enforcement of any law unless the act constitutes willful conduct, the motion states.
Oetken's lawsuit, however, claims that Redden was not responding to an emergency at the time of the collision.
Oetken blames Redden for causing the collision, saying he negligently failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to activate his sirens and failed to reduce his speed to avoid a collision.
Oetken seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.
Keith Short of the Law Office of Keith Short in Wood River will be representing her.
James C. Cook of Walker and Williams in Belleville represents the defense.
Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1739.