Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Fatal Accident Wasn’t the End, Family Says

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - The family of a man killed in a fiery car crash sued a Southern Illinois county, claiming they found pieces of their loved one still at the crash scene days later.

Jared McPherson, 25, and Brian Lee Hubbs, 37, both died in the Aug. 8 accident. They were on their way home from work when for unknown reasons Hubbs' vehicle left the highway, went down a 400-foot embankment, hit a tree and burst into flames.

Three days later Jared's father, Michael McPherson, asked the St. Clair County Coroner's Department for directions to the accident scene, to place a memorial to Jared there.

Jared's sister Karissa McPherson and fiancée Candice Holland say they found skull fragments and other pieces of bone that the coroner's office failed to remove. They sued the county on Oct. 14, in St. Clair County Court.

Michael McPherson says he called the coroner's office about the bones, and its deputy coroner "returned to the accident scene, recovered the portion of the head and skull, and took said body parts to the funeral director in charge of Jared McPherson's cremation."

But when his sister and fiancée returned to build the memorial, they says, they found more bones they believe belonged to Jared.

They each seek at least $50,000 for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

They are represented by Janel Freeman, with Unsell & Schuman, of East Alton, Ill.

The St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office told Courthouse News on Monday that it had not been served with the lawsuit and had no comment.

County Coroner Rick Stone apologized for his investigator who overlooked the body parts, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in August.

"It was a misstep," Stone told the newspaper. "We're sorry the family had to go through this."

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