Jacksonsun.com recently released a report detailing the death of a motorist after being hit by a truck on an Illinois highway as he attempted to help another motorist, who had also been hit by a vehicle just beforehand. Illinois State Police say that a 58-year old man from out of state was northbound on Interstate 57 when he lost a tire around 5:40pm. When his car broke down on the northbound shoulder, the driver tried to retrieve the tire from the median of the road, being fatally struck by an oncoming vehicle just seconds later. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
After witnessing the accident, an 80-year old motorist on his way to Chicago stopped and left his truck to help pull the man’s body out of the road. As he was crossing the highway, he was sadly hit by an oncoming truck. He was taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois where he died shortly after. A newspaper report in a Kankakee, Illinois daily journal states the crash remains under investigation by state police and no citations have been issued.
Though it is not stated who was specifically the cause of either accident, an obvious factor that played a part in the death of both motorists was their decisions to attempt to walk across the interstate. While many may believe these decisions were senseless, pedestrian accidents on interstate highways are actually quite common. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, more than ten percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on highways. The most common reason for these individuals to be on the highway is when they find a need to walk across it; in the case of the above accidents, the first motorist walked across the interstate to retrieve his missing tire. Given the speed of other vehicles on the roadway, many drivers fail to see these individuals until it is too late.
Other causes of pedestrian fatalities on interstates involve pedestrians walking in the roadway at night, walking or standing on the road shoulder, attempting to fix mechanical problems with their vehicle, and finally, tending to a previous accident.
Pedestrians do need to use an appropriate level of care to protect themselves on highways; however, there are many instances in which pedestrians are injured or killed due to negligent motorists. These motorists include individuals who drive over the speed limit, drink and drive, use their cellular phones while driving, or drive while fatigued. In these instances, pedestrians or their families may be able to receive legal compensation for injuries sustained as the result of an accident.
If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an Illinois pedestrian accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our Chicago personal injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti to learn about what rights may be available to you.