On December 14th, 2011 at approximately 8:15 a.m., Kyle David Brown, 40 year old man from Lake Saint Louis, was operating his 2011 BMW sport utility vehicle traveling east on two-lane Champ Clark Bridge which carries U.S. Highway 54 from Louisiana, Missouri to Pike County, Illinois. At that said time and place, Kenneth L. Davis, of Pleasant Hill, Illinois was operating a 1992 International tractor-trailer traveling west on the bridge. Davis’ tractor-trailer was transporting a log dragger at the time.
A tire on the tractor-trailer hit the guardrail on the bridge throwing the logging equipment on Davis’ trailer into the path of Kyle Brown, causing him to hit the equipment head-on. Police say that the chains securing the log dragger snapped when Davis hit the guardrail. The logging equipment was described as being similar to an oversized forklift.
Kyle Brown, a husband and father of two, died at the scene. Brown was chief marketing officer for Stark Bro’s Nurseries and Orchards Co. in Louisiana, Missouri and had been with the company for about 10 years.
Brown’s widow, Kristen Brown, and the couple’s two sons filed a wrongful death suit with the St. Charles County Circuit Court. The suit claims that Davis failed to keep a proper lookout, was driving at excessive speed for the conditions, allowed his truck to cross into the oncoming lane, and he allowed the load to come off the trailer. The suit is seeking unspecified damages.
Tractor-trailer driver, Davis, was ticketed for improper lane use because he left his lane and hit the guardrail; additional charges may come because the tractor-trailer was likely too wide for the bridge. The bridge was closed to traffic for approximately six hours while police investigated.
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