Pettis County family sues driver in ATV accident

Saturday, April 11, 2009 | 9:08 p.m. CDT

SEDALIA — The family of a 10-year-old Pettis County girl who died after her all-terrain vehicle collided with a pickup truck in Sedalia last year has sued the truck's driver.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Jordan Keith was driving the ATV off the road when she drove in front of a pickup just west of U.S. 65. She was thrown off the vehicle and later died at a hospital from her injuries.

The truck's driver, 61-year-old Richard L. Robertson of Sedalia, wasn't charged in the accident. Law enforcement officials said they determined Jordan swerved out in front of Richardson and he couldn't stop in time.

But Jordan's parents, Michael and Lesli Keith, filed a wrongful death lawsuit, accusing Robertson of being negligent and failing to drive more carefully or sound a warning to Jordan as he drove near her.



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Some Farker April 12, 2009 | 12:26 p.m.

I believe that the Kieth's need to be charged for negligence for allowing their 10 year old to drive a atv next to a highway when most states require that you must be at least 16 to ride. Mr Robertson. I hope that you win this idiotic lawsuit and the Keith's have to pay for you lawyer. The stupidity of people never ceases to amaze me.

(Report Comment)
Another Farker April 12, 2009 | 12:37 p.m.

How is it that these moronic parents haven't been charged?

(Report Comment)
Ernest Payne April 12, 2009 | 12:55 p.m.

Welcome to America. A country where its NEVER your fault. Let us hope the unfortunate driver can countersue the idiotic parents for stress and trauma.

(Report Comment)
qwe asdfg April 12, 2009 | 1:20 p.m.

Darwin ftw! Idiot parents deserved that fate, not their child.

(Report Comment)
David Child April 12, 2009 | 1:43 p.m.

A countersuit for at least the guy's lawyer fees is SOP in these cases. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway): we're so pampered, absolutely nothing is OUR fault. What? I put a loaded gun to my head and pulled the trigger? Sue the gun maker, the ammo maker, and all my friends who didn't act quickly enough to stop me. I have no doubt they were contacted by some LAWYER who PROMISED them they could get an out-of-court settlement with the guy's insurance company - no one would ever have to appear in court. Of course, the insurance company would raise rates to cover their "loss" (this is business as usual, folks). The FARTHEST thing from the minds of the parents is their dead child. Heck, they can always make another (or 8 - yeah, OCTOMOM, I'm looking at your stupid horse-face). It's the NEW AMERICAN DREAM (TM) - sue your way to riches, and forget anyone who gets in your way. The END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (EOTWAWKI) can't come fast enough for me.

(Report Comment)
Brian Fairbanks April 12, 2009 | 1:46 p.m.

Someone should really start a fund to help this driver. And certainly the parents should be investigated for child neglect. No question about it.

(Report Comment)
AB Cdefghi April 12, 2009 | 2:21 p.m.

These parents should be ashamed of themselves! It's no one's fault but your own that you let a 10-year-old drive a fast and potentially deadly vehicle.... unsupervised.... next to a road. The child obviously should not have been on the ATV. Besides being way too young, she apparently didn't have the sense to be aware of her environment and look for traffic.

I agree with those who say the truck driver should counter sue. And, if this couple has any other children, I hope someone from Child Services checks on them repeatedly. It's a shame that people don't have to get a permit to have a child. It would prevent people such as the Keiths, who obviously don't have a lot of common sense, from having children.

(Report Comment)
Fap Fap April 12, 2009 | 9:19 p.m.

Pay the parents of with free Double Taps

(Report Comment)
Law Doggggg April 12, 2009 | 10:03 p.m.

They really expect to win this? It is illegal to drive an ATV on the highway in Missouri. And they let their daughter drive next to the highway and eventually onto the highway. You can't claim a driver is negligent about watching for your ATV riding daughter when it was illegal for her to be there in the first place.

I hope the driver counter-sues immediately. Parents - IT'S YOUR FAULT. Yep, it is your fault that a life was lost. Stop blaming other people for your failure.

(Report Comment)
Roxanne Forager April 13, 2009 | 12:13 p.m.

Wow, doesn't anyone have any compassion for the death of this young girl? Where were the police during this. Why weren't they there to keep her off the road. If I was the parents, I'd be not only suing the driver but also the makers of the ATV and the city for not having the path wider or having the protection of barriers to protect her. Also the truck driver has a responsibility to keep an eye out for danger around him and it appears he didn't. He was probably a drunk republican on the road. I hope the parents win their civil suit although it will not make up for their personal loss of their daughter. The driver needs to get what's coming to him. He is a perfect example of someone not taking responsibilty for their actions.

(Report Comment)
Sarah Scully April 13, 2009 | 12:37 p.m.

Roxanne: It is unfair that a young girl died, but what is the purpose of suing the ATV makers if the vehicle was not defective and of suing the city over barriers if an ATV rider isn't legally in the right for driving along a highway? It's a terrible loss, but unfounded lawsuits are really expensive and take away valuable court time.

Also, we don't have all the facts regarding the driver, so it's is grossly unfair to criticize him as "someone not taking responsibility for" his actions. Try not to jump to conclusions before the facts are in.

(Report Comment)
steve lieb April 13, 2009 | 12:37 p.m.

Roxanne, People like you represent everything that is wrong with America today. Its really not that hard of a situation to grasp. A TEN YEAR OLD kid was operating a moter vehicle UNSUPERVISED next to a MAJOR HIGHWAY. Cut across the highway and was hit by a car. NO WAY a ten year old should be operating an ATV by themselfs let alone next to a highway.

Why would you sue the maker of the ATV??? because they were stupid enough to sell you the vehicle in the first place??

Its not the police's responsibility to watch over your children, thats falls on the responsibility of the parents.

There was no path where the girl was driving because she wasn't supposed be driving there in the first place, but when you let you 10 year old drive an ATV unsupervised unfourtinately accidents happen.

This is a tragedy and there is no way to rectify what happened to this girl, but it is in no way the Driver of the cars fault.

Please read the article again, and actually read it.

(Report Comment)
mike medic April 13, 2009 | 3:21 p.m.

I am a foster parent because of stupid parents such as this girls parents do not know how to properly parent their children. I suppose they should sue their parents for not teaching them how to be good parents when they were growing up, probably should sue whoever owned the land the girl was riding on, the gas station that sold them the gas for the ATV, good grief. I work as a Paramedic and do not worry about job security or being laid off because of peoples stupidity. You wonder why our country is in such sad shape it is because we expect everything to be provided for us and refuse to take responsibility for our actions or inactions.

(Report Comment)
Brian Fairbanks April 13, 2009 | 3:25 p.m.

Apparently, this story is getting picked up nationally and everyone else is just as outraged as we are. Hopefully, this will intimidate the parents into withdrawing their stupid lawsuit (assuming, of course, the guy doesn't turn out to be guilty of drunken/reckless driving and veered off the road) and cause the police to wake up and look into this whole incident.

Never underestimate the power of small to affect real change.

(Report Comment)
James Duggan April 13, 2009 | 8:23 p.m.

A$$hat parents should be in jail!

(Report Comment)
Mick Slick April 13, 2009 | 8:31 p.m.

Rox...That was the most exquisite example of sarcasm I've seen in a while. Bravo! :o)

(Report Comment)
Roxanne Forager April 13, 2009 | 8:46 p.m.


Congratulations. You're are the only one who saw through me. :)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 13, 2009 | 8:47 p.m.

You are so on the money when you posted, "The driver needs to get what's coming to him. He is a perfect example of someone not taking responsibilty for "their" actions."
I'd just like to add that the 61 year old driver should also be held accountable for this unfortunate little girl's parents inactions. Someone needs to shoulder the blame and pay restitution for this "accident." These "parents" apparently need the money to soothe the pain. They deserve to be soothed just as much as this 61 year old driver needs to be sued!

(Report Comment)
Bob Arnett April 14, 2009 | 4:35 a.m.

I see kids riding little mini-bikes, motorized scooters, and ATVs all the time. When I was a kid you got busted for doing that. Nowadays, it seems to be de rugueur. The cops even look the other way.

It's a shame that a child had to die, but if that's what it takes to put an end to this madness then so be it.

I says this: to ride any kind of motorized vehicle, you must have a valid driver's license--if not--your busted, plain and simple. It doesn't matter if you're on the road or off.

I'm sorry to say it, but the child was at fault here, and the parents are to blame. Case closed.

(Report Comment)
Clyde Barrow April 14, 2009 | 4:00 p.m.

Obviously the comment from "Roxanne" is just a troll looking to stir up controversy and pose as a stupid democrat. Just ignore the imposter..

(Report Comment)
jeffery sharpe May 30, 2009 | 1:17 p.m.

the stories i could tell yall about those two would curl your toes. you should look into his child support,divorce,and buisness dealings as well as this. its just the tip of the iceberg with these people. they make me sick..

(Report Comment)
Tracy Gregory June 2, 2009 | 5:30 p.m.

My name Tracy I am Jordan Keith's real mother Jordan was @ her Father Mike Keith and Step Mom Leslie Keith's house in Mo. For the summer. She left to go there shortley after her 10th Birthday and got killed 1 month and 1 day of being there Just wanted to also tell yall that i lived in Tx when that happened and was not informed that my daughter had been in an accident untill after she died.. there is so much more to this Story !!!! i myself am very angry about what is going on but i wanted to say thank you for the support and keep chatting mabey we will be able to change sommone elses mind before they go off and buy a motorized vehicle for there 10 Yr old. God bless yall all

(Report Comment)
kendra king June 8, 2009 | 5:04 p.m.

We all miss Jordan so much. What is so sad is the whole story on this. The father should be in fault and i hope that he thinks about this everyday of his life. It is bad when you blam someone else for the mistake that you made. Tracy i love you and hang in there. Someone will learn from this tragedy. I know in my heard that Jordan is aware and looks down everyday and knows who really loves her.

(Report Comment)
Tammi Branch July 6, 2009 | 3:29 p.m.

First, let me say that the father and step-mother are negligent in their actions by buying that child a four-wheeler. Then they were negligent in allowing that child to ride UNSUPERVISED AND WITHOUT AN ADULT ON THE FOUR WHEELER anywhere near a highway, or any road for that matter. For them to be suing that man for what is obviously their fault is ignorance in itself. People like that are the reasons that our insurance premiums are at an all time high. If the police found the driver not at fault, then why does the father feel the need to sue an innocent person because he happened to be in the wrong place at the exact time that she went out into the road. But will a parent really sue themselves for negligence? No, because it is easier to blame someone else than to take the blame for what you did to your child.

(Report Comment)

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