Motorcyclist blames Pump House and driver for downed traffic pole

By Andrea Dearden | Mar 11, 2013

A Madison County man says he crashed his motorcycle into a fallen traffic pole after it was knocked over by an alleged drunk driver who fled the scene.

Michael O'Hair filed a lawsuit Feb. 19 in Madison County Circuit Court against Ryan E. Spurgeon and Pump House of Wood River Inc., doing business as Pump House Bar & Grill. Gary E. Vollmer, Darren Vollmer and Larry and Ruth Lowe are also named as defendants.

O'Hair says he was riding his motorcycle north on Illinois Route 3 in August 2012. As he approached the intersection of Illinois Route 143 in Wood River, O'Hair claims he hit a traffic signal pole that was laying across the road. He says he lost control of the motorcycle and was thrown to the ground.

Moments before the crash, according to the complaint, Spurgeon was driving west on Route 143, crossed over the median near the intersection of Route 3 and crashed into the traffic signal pole, knocking it to ground. Spurgeon then allegedly fled the scene of the crash. O'Hair contends Spurgeon, who was allegedly drinking at the Pump House Bar & Grill prior to the crash, was driving drunk when he hit the traffic pole.

O'Hair is suing Spurgeon for negligence. He also accuses the Pump House and its owners, Darren and Gary E. Vollmer, of violating Illinois Dram Shop Act and claims they are liable for Spurgeon allegedly driving drunk. The Lowes, the owners of the building on Edwardsville Road where the Pump House is located, are also being sued for Dram Shop violations.

O'Hair asks for more than $350,000 in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and costs of the lawsuit. He is represented by attorney J. Robert Edmonds of Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-239

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