I-57 accident caused by toolbox left on highway, suit claims

By Kelly Holleran | Jul 24, 2013

Two Monroe County residents claim they incurred tens of thousands of dollars in costs after they were involved in a collision caused after they swerved their vehicle in an attempt to avoid a toolbox left in the middle of the road.

Tamara M. Mixon and Mark Mixon filed a lawsuit July 18 in Madison County Circuit Court against Padley AG Transportation, Don R. Padley, Sunbelt Furniture Xpress and Michael F. Roper.

In their complaint, the Mixons allege Tamara M. Mixon drove a 2010 Hyundai south on Interstate Highway 57 on July 21, 2011, when she was suddenly forced to brake and swerve to avoid a toolbox that had been left in the middle of the road. In the midst of Tamara Mixon’s sudden maneuver, Roper, who was driving a 2007 Freightliner for Sunbelt, rear-ended the Hyundai, according to the complaint. At the time of the accident, Mark Mixon was riding as a passenger in the Hyundai.

The “large” toolbox had fallen from a 1997 Peterbilt tractor trailer Padley was driving south on Interstate Highway 57 for Padley AG, the suit states.

Because of the accident, Tamara Mixon sustained neck, head and back injuries while Mark Mixon endured back injuries. Both also suffered pain and disability and incurred medical costs of more than $15,000, the complaint says. The couple, who was renting the Hyundai at the time of the collision, claims they incurred costs of $22,000 toward the repair of the vehicle.

They blame Padley for contributing to the collision, saying he negligently failed to adequately secure the toolbox, failed to inspect the toolbox to ensure that it was secure and drove when he knew the toolbox was not secured to the truck.

The Mixons also blame Sunbelt and Roper for causing the collision, saying Roper drove too fast, failed to stop or swerve to avoid a collision, followed the Hyundai too closely, failed to keep a proper lookout and struck the back of the Hyundai.

In their complaint, the Mixons seek a judgment of more than $85,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Douglas B. Salsbury of The Miller Salsbury Law Firm in Eureka, Mo., and Michael T. Harvath of The Harvath Law Offices in Pacific, Mo., will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-1189.

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