St. Charles Residents Renew Call for Highway Improvements After Fatal Accident

Our St. Louis car crash attorneys wrote last October about a growing call in St. Charles County for improvements to Highway DD. The area has grown from a rural community to a fast-growing suburb, and improvements to Highway DD have not caught up. At least some residents believe that this has resulted in a sharp increase in fatal accidents, and many have called for the Missouri Department of Transportation to make improvements a priority. One of those residents was Daniel Windler, 61, who signed a petition asking MoDOT to speed up improvements. On Feb. 14, Windler was the victim of a fatal accident on the very same highway, while waiting for a tow truck to help him retrieve his disabled car.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Windler’s wife and law enforcement agree that the fatal accident itself was a weather-related accident. As Windler waited for a tow truck, an SUV driven by a teenager from St. Peters slipped down an icy hill and struck him. That driver will not be charged. However, 61-year-old Karen Windler said she believes Highway DD is unsafe, with a rate of accidents about twice the state average for highways of this type. The highway is narrower than the 12-foot federal width standard, yet has no shoulders. It also has steep embankments on either side, inviting the possibility that drivers could slip off the edge of the road and be unable to return to lanes. This, along with the icy weather, may be why Daniel Windler slid off the road Feb. 14.
As a Missouri auto accident lawyer, I don’t believe this problem is going away. Authorities believe part of the reason for the high accident rate on Highway DD is that it wasn’t designed for heavy suburban traffic. Rather, the community grew around the road, using it as a major commuter artery rather than a rural highway. In fact, St. Charles County continues to grow — two new schools along the highway are slated to open in 2010. To protect those schoolchildren and everyone else who uses Highway DD, the state has an obligation to ensure that the road can safely accommodate them. MoDOT has already lowered the speed limit, but as this accident may show, that’s unlikely to be enough to bring down accident rates.


Just like drivers, state and local governments have a legal obligation to make sure their actions don’t cause unnecessary risk of car accidents. Carey, Danis & Lowe represents clients who were seriously hurt or lost a loved one in any type of auto accident caused by someone else’s negligence. That includes the negligence of a government agency that knew about a safety problem and did nothing, or designed an unsafe road. If this has happened to you, please contact our southern Illinois car wreck attorneys as early as possible, because suing a government agency is more complicated and time-consuming than other types of lawsuits. Without expert and timely legal advice, victims may inadvertently lose their right to any relief at all.
Carey, Danis & Lowe offers free, confidential case evaluations, so there’s no risk in speaking to us about your rights and your case. To set one up, please send us a message through our Web site or call 1-877-678-3400 toll-free.