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Family Sues Driver Over Woman’s Death in Gas Station Accident

A news story about a traffic accident lawsuit caught my eye as a St. Louis pedestrian accident lawyer. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported April 7, the surviving husband of a woman killed as she walked through a gas station has sued the driver who hit her. Matthew McBride of St. Louis was left a widower with two toddler daughters last September when his wife, 38-year-old Molly McBride, was hit by Anthony Rancilio of southern St. Louis County. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Rancilio, 27, for the effects of the death on the McBride family. Criminal charges have not been filed against Rancilio; police say they are still looking into whether he had a medical condition that caused or contributed to the crash.
According to the Post-Dispatch, Molly McBride was walking toward the gas cap at the rear of her vehicle when Rancilio sped into the gas station and hit a small barrier pole. His Mazda Tribute SUV then struck McBride. She was taken to a hospital, where she died. Witnesses told the newspaper at the time that Rancilio had been using his cell phone moments before the crash, and Matthew McBride’s lawsuit says Rancilio had been speeding. Police officers said at the time that they were looking into whether an unspecified medical condition could have caused the crash; no charges have yet been filed. This is not Rancilio’s first car wreck lawsuit; he previously settled two suits out of court, both stemming from a December 2000 rear-end crash involving ice.
As a Missouri car crash attorney, I think this is a great example of how individuals can seek justice through the civil courts even when the criminal justice system moves slowly. It is not certain that Rancilio won’t be charged, but it seems unusual to wait seven months to determine whether he has a medical problem. Meanwhile, distracted driving, especially phoning and driving, has become a major focus of federal and state driving safety campaigns. The McBride family’s lawsuit can go forward regardless of whether authorities end up filing criminal charges against Rancilio, and may give them some measure of justice even if they do not. It may also provide fair compensation for the emotional and practical challenges faced by the loss of a mother while both daughters are still very young.

If you or someone you love was seriously hurt in a car crash caused by someone else’s negligence, you should call Carey, Danis & Lowe to discuss your rights and your legal options. Based in St. Louis and Belleville, Ill., we represent people who were injured and families that have suffered a loss through no fault of their own. Under the law, all drivers have a legal obligation to take reasonable care to avoid injuring others. That includes obeying basic traffic laws, not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and not driving while unreasonably distracted, regardless of the reason. Our southern Illinois auto accident lawyers help clients recover financial compensation for injuries and damages caused by this kind of carelessness, which can be severe. That includes lost income, high medical bills and compensation for victims’ physical pain, emotional disability and any permanent disability or disfigurement.
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free, confidential case evaluations, so you risk nothing by speaking to us about your situation and your options. To set up a meeting, send us a message online or call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400.