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DCFS Files Lawsuit Against Mizeur Trucking, Driver, KV

Four months after a crash in which two persons were killed on a country road intersection south of Dunkel, a lawsuit has been filed by an agent for Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and as guardian for two of three children who survived.

The daytime collision happened Aug. 3 as a Kemmerer Village van was southbound on 2500 East Road and a Mizeur Trucking, LLC, semi tractor trailer was going west. According to the Illinois State Police report related in the PN-P, the van driver, Daniel Kennell, 40, of Taylorville died at the scene. He was a KV staff member. Lucky Hamilton, 14, a KV resident, died the next day from his injuries at Memorial Medical Center in Springfield. Cheryl Carson, 47, of Decatur, also a KV staff member, and three other KV youth who were residents of the rural Assumption facility, were passengers in the van and were injured. The other three young people – two girls ages 14 and 15, and the boy, 16, were airlifted from the scene along with Hamilton.

Rick Evrley, 53, of Owaneco, the semi driver, was uninjured.

The two-count lawsuit filed on Dec. 4 seeks $100,000 judgment plus costs of the action by D. Jean Ortega Peron, as guardian of Baylee Gentry and William Thomas, minors, and as IDCFS agent, is the plaintiff, through the Chicago law firm of Mitchell, Hoffman & Wolf. (Reporter’s note: the fourth, unnamed youth injured in the crash, is not mentioned in the complaint.)

The first count cites Rick J. Evrley, independently and as agent of Mizeur Trucking, LLC, and also Mizeur Trucking, LLC. The second count is against Kemmerer Village.

In the second count, the complaint restates the incidents preceding the crash, adding Kennell was driving the southbound van as agent and employee of Kemmerer Village, when the vehicle struck the semi. In disregard for the duties owed to other drivers on the roadways, including operating the van in a safe manner, Kemmerer Village was negligent by and through its employees and/or agents in one or more ways: failing to yield to the vehicle driven by Evrley, carelessly and negligently operated and controlled the van at a speed greater than reasonable, failed to sound the horn, and failed to stop at the intersection.

The resulting collision caused injuries as mentioned in the first count, states the suit, of permanent and lasting nature.

Paul Wolf of the Chicago law firm is attorney for the plaintiff, D. Jean Ortega-Piron.