Metro-East News

Family of I-55 crash victim sues trucker, his business, and the construction company

The family of a woman who died in an Interstate 55 pileup is suing a semitrailer driver, the driver’s employer and a road-construction company.

Tori Carroll, of Alhambra, died at Saint Louis University Medical Center about nine days after a Nov. 21 crash on Interstate 55 near Hamel. She and three other women were killed when a semitrailer driven by a 53-year-old Colorado man crashed into seven vehicles on I-55.

On Thursday, lawyers representing her family filed a wrongful-death suit in Madison County. In the lawsuit, attorneys argue that the semitrailer driver, Mohamed Yussuf Jama, acted carelessly when he failed to stop his 18-wheeler while approaching a construction zone, causing a massive multiple-vehicle crash.

The suit goes on to argue that Jama’s employer, listed under several corporations, should also be held accountable for the driver’s alleged carelessness while working for the company.

“While operating said tractor-trailer at the direction and control of his employer(s), defendant Jama collided with a vehicle in which (Carroll) was a passenger, causing her great pain and suffering, severe injury, and her ultimate death on Nov. 30, 2017,” the suit alleges.

Keller Construction Inc. is also included as a defendant in the lawsuit. The company was the general contractor working in the construction zone where the crash happened.

The suit alleges that Keller had a duty to keep the public safe by “providing warning of work zone traffic speeds, lane closures, and slowed and/or stopped traffic resulting from the construction work being performed.”

The suit also alleges that Keller failed to post proper warnings of the slowed or stopped traffic and failed to open lanes to accommodate the increased Thanksgiving traffic.

The crash was the first of two major crashes on that stretch of I-55 in late 2017. The second occurred just miles from the first, after another semitrailer driver failed to stop as traffic halted in the construction zone. The second crash was a 10-vehicle crash that killed Pauline McKinney and sent more than 10 people to the hospital.

McKinney’s husband, William McKinney, is also suing the driver of a semitrailer and the driver’s trucking company in connection with that crash.

Jama’s first name has also been spelled Muhammed.