Troy Zerna was only 20 years old at the time of the crash, but had already been arrested and his license suspended five months earlier after his involvement in another DWI-related wreck.


Dennis Riegel, 28, was killed in the 2008 crash and his fiancée, Christine Hodge, was seriously injured while returning from a shopping mall where they had registered for gifts for their upcoming wedding.

Zernas’ blood alcohol level was well over twice the legal limit to drive at the time of the accident. He is serving a ten year prison sentence as a result of the two DWI-related accidents.

The jury awarded $89 million in damages to Mr. Riegel’s family, his fiancé and daughter to send a message on drinking and driving.

Mark Bronson of St. Louis, represented the Plaintiffs.

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