Springfield Man Arrested After Hitting and Killing Driver of Homemade Go-Kart

By April 19, 2011Auto Accidents

An unusual accident caught my eye as a Missouri motor vehicle accident lawyer. As the Springfield News-Leader reported April 15, one Springfield man was killed and another arrested after a pickup truck hit a homemade go-kart just outside the city limits. The accident took the life of Raymond Ridinger, 39, whose disabled go-kart was being towed by another go-kart. Ridinger was rounding a turn when he was struck and killed by an unnamed 27-year-old driver in a pickup truck. No one else was injured, but police took the pickup’s driver into custody and charges against him may be filed. A state trooper reminded readers that small vehicles like the go-kart don’t belong on city streets.
OzarksFirst.com said the accident happened around 9 p.m. on April 14. Ridinger’s go-kart was not functioning, so the other kart was towing him. The karts reportedly did not have headlights or taillights or license plates. The first kart stopped at an intersection to yield to the pickup, but Ridinger’s kart had enough momentum to keep going into the intersection. There, he was hit and died at the scene of his injuries. The driver of the pickup was not formally charged with any crime; police were still investigating. However, that driver has a history of driving infractions including DUI, driving without a valid license and leaving the scene of an accident, as well as drug charges.
As a St. Louis car crash attorney, I wonder if both drivers might not share some responsibility for the crash. As the trooper said, it’s extremely unwise to drive a go-kart on roads designed for cars and trucks. It might also be illegal, depending on things like the kart’s maximum speed — and it was certainly risky to do so without lights at night. For that reason, I suspect Ridinger will be assigned some fault for the crash. It’s less certain whether the pickup’s driver was at fault. A history of DUI and other bad decisions behind the wheel doesn’t make someone guilty of the same bad decisions this time, but it does suggest that police should look into the question — and the arrest suggests that they are looking into it pretty seriously.


At Carey, Danis & Lowe, we represent clients who were seriously injured because of someone else’s careless driving or law-breaking. Car wrecks are the leading cause of death for people under 34 and the leading cause of permanent traumatic brain injuries — and most of them could be prevented if one or both drivers had been more careful. Our southern Illinois auto accident lawyers help victims of these kinds of catastrophic injuries collect compensation from the driver who was at fault (including partial compensation when both parties are partly to blame). That includes compensation for costs like medical bills and time off work, as well as for permanent disabilities, a death in the family, pain and more.
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