October 27, 2014

Fatal Truck Accident Sets Fire to Illinois Overpass

by Levin & Perconti

Being vehicles of such a large size, semis and tractor-trailers can cause accidents that are very serious in nature, both in injuries to victims as well as damage to personal property and infrastructure. This was made evident in one recent accident in Casey, IL when a semi-truck crashed into a concrete support on the Illinois 49 overpass and caught fire, according to an article by the Herald-Review. The accident occurred over Interstate 70 and one man (the passenger) died and another (the driver) has suffered serious personal injuries and remains hospitalized. Illinois State Police reported that the truck fire damaged the tractor, trailer, and the overpass. The driver was ticketed for improper lane usage.

A fire can be an extremely dangerous consequence of truck and motor vehicle accidents. Not only are they dangerous to those directly involved in the accident, but fires pose a danger to those around the accident as well. Fires can quickly spread to other vehicles, infrastructure, and the environment surrounding the scene of the accident, putting others in harm’s way. Furthermore, because vehicles run off of gasoline and oil, which are highly flammable and combustive materials, the fire can quickly escalate into an ever-increasing dangerous situation.

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October 24, 2014

6 Injured When Truck Crashes Into Bagel Shop

by Levin & Perconti

Normally we think of truck crashes as accidents involving other trucks, motor vehicles, and occurring on the roadways. However, negligence can put lives in danger both on and off the roads. Trucks and other vehicles tend to share space with bicyclists and pedestrians, and although this usually results in harmony, when a vehicle veers off the road or street or a pedestrian enters into moving traffic, accidents with pedestrians can occur. Pedestrians are owed a duty of care by drivers, while walkers should always remain alert for vehicles as dangers. However, people naturally let down their guards when they are nowhere near roads, and safe inside homes, offices and commercial buildings. However from time to time we hear of news where unsuspecting victims are injured when negligent drivers leave the road and crash into homes, stores and other seemingly safe structures.

In one such recent news story, six patrons of a bagel shop were injured when a box truck crashed into the establishment. According to the article by CBS, images show the large truck almost entirely inside of the shop with glass and debris strewn everywhere. After the crash, 5 adults and 1 child needed immediate medical treatment. Police are still investigating the cause of this accident.

One witness described the accident saying that the truck sideswiped a car that was parked in front of a chapel, which put the car onto the sidewalk. The truck then continued to travel another half block straight into the front of the bagel shop. The witness described the accident as strange because he did not see any brake usage involved, and there was no other traffic in the vicinity. Another witness and individual involved in the accident, the store clerk, described the accident involving a big explosion and that customers were hit by the truck. He too mentioned how the truck used no brakes but just went straight through the shop.

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October 17, 2014

Truck-Train Collision Sends Victim to Hospital

by Levin & Perconti

It is no doubt that truck accidents are incredibly dangerous and often lead victims to suffer serious injuries. However, that danger can amplify when a truck collides with another large vehicle such as a train or bus. In such an accident, the devastation may be greater due to the size of the vehicles and the number of people affected. That is why it is important operators practice safe driving and maintain vigilance to the road as to avoid reckless and negligent driving. Negligent driving can cause injury or death to negligent drivers as well as innocent bystanders. When drivers practice safe and lawful driving habits they protect themselves and others from serious harm.

ABC Local News 8 recently reported on a serious truck and a train collision that was a result of such negligence. The accident resulted in injuries to the truck driver who required hospitalization from her injuries. The semi-truck with a trailer attached was driving westbound on US Highway 20 when it stopped on railroad tracks and was struck by a southbound traveling train. According to the report, the train tracks and highway run parallel to each other so it is unknown why the truck stopped on the tracks. This accident is still under investigation by the police.

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October 13, 2014

Passengers Suffer Injuries in Fulton Rollover Accident

by Levin & Perconti

Frequent visitors to our blog know that rollover accidents are especially dangerous and unfortunately very common in SUVs and trucks, because they are tall and narrow vehicles. The design of these vehicles makes it easy for them to tip over in a collision, which can cause serious and long-term personal injuries for all parties involved in the rollover accident – both those in the vehicle that rolled over and those in the other vehicles around the scene who are put in danger of a nearby rolling vehicle.

According to a recent article by the Clinton Herald, a rollover accident in Fulton caused victims to suffer personal injuries. A passenger car that was traveling north collided with a pickup truck at the 900 block of 12th Street. Upon collision the truck rolled over and then came to a stop upside down on top of the passenger vehicle that hit it. Responders had to act quickly in this emergency to extricate the driver out of the pickup truck. Both the driver of the car and the driver of the truck sustained personal injuries, but fortunately none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. That is at least some good news to hear out of this accident because it is extremely common for rollover accidents to result in life-threatening injuries or permanent debilitating injuries.

It is important to remember that a rollover can occur whether the driver is the negligent party or not. While the article stated that it is unclear what the cause of the accident was and that it is still under investigation, in this instance the car hit the truck causing a rollover.

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October 9, 2014

Distracted Driving Potential Cause of Fatal Truck-Bus Collision

by Levin & Perconti

Time and again distracted driving is making headlines, but this is a dangerous trend that we should all work together to end. Because distracted driving is all too common, there have been many accidents in Chicagoland and throughout Illinois which would have been prevented but for negligent driving and not paying attention to the road.

Unfortunately, distracted driving was once again in recent news when a tractor-trailer collided with a bus, according to the Quincy Herald-Whig. The truck collided with a bus and drove straight through an interstate median without any signs of braking or trying to avoid colliding with the bus. As a result of the collision, four members of a Texas community college women’s softball team were killed.

At the time of the accident the truck had been traveling northbound on Friday night. At this spot on Interstate 35 the road curves gently to the right, but the truck continued straight, traveling approximately 820 feet through the median, and collided with the southbound headed bus that was carrying 15 members of the softball team and their coach. However, even after striking the side of the bus, the truck continued to drive for about another 300 feet. It then crossed over the southbound lanes and then uprooted some trees.

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October 8, 2014

Semi-Truck Rollover Accident Traps Occupants

by Levin & Perconti

Motor vehicle and truck accidents are extremely frightening and traumatic for survivors of these crashes. When a crash goes beyond a collision and the impact causes a vehicle to flip and roll over, these accidents can be much worse for surviving victims. Not only is it extremely scary to be stuck inside a vehicle that is hurtling through the air or skidding upside down across the blacktop highway, but such high impact collisions and rollovers can create permanent and life-changing injuries resulting in long-term physical suffering, expensive medical bills, and lost wages from inability to work.

Recent news by KWQC exemplifies how dangerous rollover accidents can be. According to the article, a semi-truck rolled over on I-80 near Atkinson. Police described that the driver was traveling westbound on I-80 and came upon a curve where he over-corrected. This resulted in the driver losing control of the truck and crossing into the median. The truck then rolled over on the driver side and entrapped both the truck driver and passenger inside. Local fire and rescue services had to rush to the scene to extricate these people out of the truck and take them by ambulance for emergency care. The victims’ current condition is unknown, but the accident remains under investigation. The driver has been charged with improper lane usage, and other charges are pending.

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October 3, 2014

Heyworth Teen Dies in Truck Accident

by Levin & Perconti

It is far too often that fatal truck accidents occur on our Illinois roads and highways. However, it is especially heart-breaking to learn of these accidents taking the lives of young people, such as children and teens. Such accidents cut the lives of these people far too short and take away the potential and futures they had. These accidents are especially difficult for parents and family members because the deaths of very young people are more often than not very unexpected and sudden.

Unfortunately, a fatal truck accident took the life of a teen, according to recent news. In an article by the Pantagraph, a fifteen-year-old boy died after he was the passenger in a car that was hit by a pick-up truck. The boy was wearing a seat belt, but did not survive the accident that took place on U.S. 51 at McLean County Road. The driver, a sixteen-year-old female classmate, suffered serious personal injuries and remains hospitalized. The principal of their high school has brought in counselors to help grieving students with the loss of their classmate and friend. There was also a 6-month-old baby in the pickup truck who was thankfully not harmed. According to another article by Central Illinois Proud, the teens’ vehicle was headed westbound and was struck by the pickup truck headed southbound. The boy died of head injuries from the accident. The state police are still investigating this accident and are currently working to reconstruct it to research it further.

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October 1, 2014

Hit-and-Run Truck Accident Leaves Police Searching for More Information

by Levin & Perconti

For anyone who has ever been in an accident, you know how frustrating they are, sometimes even for the long term. In a matter of just minutes victims sustain injuries and incur heavy financial burdens from damage to their vehicles, medical bills, and possibly lost wages when injuries are serious enough to keep someone from work. However, we all know that the right and lawful thing to do after an accident is to pull over to the side of the road and exchange information with the other party or parties involved. When this doesn't happen though, and other people flee the scene of the accident, victims are left helpless and responsible parties evade accountability.

In recent news by Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, police are trying to identify a truck driver after a hit-and-run accident. The accident occurred in Charleston near Stevenson Hall on the Eastern Illinois University campus. At the intersection of Fourth and Grant, officers had been called out to the scene of an accident where a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle that immediately fled the scene. Authorities gathered information from witnesses, who described the fleeing vehicle as an aqua green full-size truck with a regular cab. The victim had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital. The incident is still under investigation.

As you know, it is the law in Illinois to stop when in a motor vehicle accident. Illinois law, under 625 ILCS 5/11-401, describes that the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident that results in injury or death to another person must immediately stop at the scene of the accident. The individual must also remain at the scene.

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September 29, 2014

Truck-Bus Collision Results in Oil Spill Clean-Up

by Levin & Perconti

While we all know how frustrating and upsetting motor vehicle accidents can already be due to injuries and financial burdens, the frustrations of these accidents can be amplified when hazardous materials are involved with the collision with regards to dangers to victims and hazards to the nearby environment.

According to recent news by TMJ 4, a bus and a truck recently collided requiring extensive clean up. While thankfully no serious injuries resulted from this accident, local authorities had to call for two ambulances and had to send a hazardous material unit to the scene in order to tend to the crash. As a result of the crash, there was a relatively significant oil spill.

Because vehicles run on fuels such as gas and oil, these hazardous materials can spill when vehicles collide in an accident and may even cause explosions.. Thankfully in this accident, authorities quickly tended to the situation and no significant dangers materialized from the spilled oil. However, this is unfortunately not the case in many accidents, where spilled hazardous materials - whether from fuel or the cargo of large trucks - create a dangerous situation along roads for both parties in the accident and bystanders.

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September 19, 2014

Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue Brought to Attention in Major News

by Levin & Perconti

Fatigued truck drivers has been frequently highlighted in the news, especially after numerous truck accidents where drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel from driving for too long. By requiring truck driver employees to work so many hours in a row without enough of a break to significantly rest, companies are endangering not only their employees but everyone else on the roads with the truck drivers. When demanding so many logged hours of drivers, companies are putting profit above protecting human life.

This issue has been highlighted by major news sources again recently, in an article by ABC. In the video report of this article, it is reported that in 2012 alone there were 300,000 large truck crashes and 4,000 fatalities. It is all too often that truck drivers are excessively speeding or tailgating cars in front of them. Very often the cause of this is driving while too tired from logging too many hours behind the wheel in a row. The video interviews one truck driver, where the viewer can hear his truck radio instructing the truck driver to continue driving even though he said he was falling asleep behind the wheel. The driver was informed over the radio that there was no choice in this matter and that he would have to continue driving. Instead of understanding the safety at issue, the dispatcher became rather terse and intimidating to the driver by begging the question of if the driver is wondering where his paycheck is going to come from. Understandably, with pressures like these, many truck drivers may feel compelled to log more hours than their body can handle without rest.

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September 17, 2014

Kane County Garbage Truck Collision Results in Serious Personal Injuries

by Levin & Perconti

While we often discuss personal injuries and wrongful death resulting from collisions with large trucks like semis and tractor-trailers, it is important to remember that accidents can and do occur with trucks of all types, not just commercial ones. Furthermore, trucks of all types are significantly larger than typical passenger vehicles, and for this reason the injuries suffered from these collisions are often serious or fatal.

In the town of Sugar Grove, a suburb of Chicago in Kane County, a garbage truck and minivan collided, according to recent news by CBS Chicago. According to the Kane County Sheriff’s police, the minivan driver was headed east on U.S. Route 30 at 7:30 in the morning and crossed to the westbound lane for unknown reasons. At the same time, a Waste Management garbage truck was heading west and had to suddenly veer to attempt to avoid a collision, but veered into the eastbound lane. The vehicles collided, and the collision caused the minivan to roll over.

The article states that neither driver has been issued any traffic citations, and that the cause of the crash is still under investigation. In incidences like these involving serious personal injuries or death, courts can find negligence on behalf of both drivers under a tort law theory called comparative negligence. According to Cornell University, comparative negligence is a rule used for allocating damages when both parties are somewhat at fault for an accident. In these situations where both a plaintiff and defendant were negligence, juries often allocate a percentage of fault to both parties. Then, each party pays a share of the other’s damages.

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September 12, 2014

Chicago Actor Dies in Truck Crash

by Levin & Perconti

Previously, we have discussed how serious truck accidents can be, especially for the reason of the size difference between large trucks and other motor vehicles. Trucks are significantly larger in both height and weight than your average passenger car. Because of this fact, when these two vehicles are in a collision, a truck can cause serious personal injuries or death to victims of other vehicles.

This unfortunate truth about the dangers of truck accidents was especially evident in a recent truck accident that killed a Chicago actor, according to the NWI Times. The collision occurred between a passenger car and tractor trailer at the intersection of Calumet and Broadmoor avenues in Munster. The actor was preparing to appear in a production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown at the Theater at the Center. According to police, the semi-truck was northbound on Calumet when it hit the southbound headed car that was turning left into the truck’s path. The car was then crushed beneath the cab of the truck, and the two vehicles ended up in the parking lot of a Fifth Third Bank after colliding. Authorities are still working to reconstruct and investigate this accident.

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