Earlier this morning, a 21 year-old Dekalb man was killed and two others were injured after their motor vehicle collided into the rear end of a semi tractor-trailer near the 500 block of West Lincoln Highway. According to the news report posted on ChicagoTribune.com, the large commercial vehicle was stopped at an intersection when the light changed green and he began to resume travel. Shortly thereafter, a small passenger vehicle, described as traveling at a “high rate of speed”, collided into the truck. In an unfortunately turn of events, the truck driver felt something but was unaware of the accident and continued to drive for several blocks.
A Chicago truck accident attorney at our firm learned that once the truck driver had pulled over to inspect his commercial vehicle, he discovered the small passenger vehicle wedged underneath the truck’s trailer. Although the driver of the passenger vehicle was wearing a safety belt, he was pronounced dead at the scene for injuries sustained in the accident. His two passengers, the driver’s 29 year-old brother and a 33 year-old relative, had to be extricated from the vehicle by firefighters – a process which took over twenty minutes. The two passengers were airlifted to a local Dekalb hospital and are currently listed in critical condition.
According to local authorities, an immediate crash investigation revealed numerous open containers of alcohol in the passenger vehicle. Illinois police believe that alcohol may have played a predominant role in the Illinois trucking accident. As of press time, no citations have been issued to the large commercial vehicle driver. The devastatingly fatal accident that occurred only a short distance away from the Northern Illinois University Campus currently remains under investigation.
While our truck accident blog frequently discusses the unfortunate consequences of semi truck accidents caused by error at the hands of large commercial vehicle drivers – such as driver fatigue, illegal substance use, or speeding – a 2006 study conducted by Virginia Tech for the United States Department of Transportation revealed that over 78 percent of trucking collisions were caused by passenger vehicle drivers. Even though passenger vehicle drivers are not held to strict operational regulations as large commercial vehicle driver’s license holders, motor vehicle drivers must exercise the utmost caution when traveling around 80,000 pound commercial vehicles.
Our Chicago accident lawyers continue to encourage safe operation by drivers of all types of motor vehicles. Not only will safe driving aide in the prevention of motor vehicle accidents, it may one day save the live or you or a loved one.