Articles Posted in Automobile Accident

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According to an online news report by Suntimes.com, two vehicles were involved in a fatal accident at 95th Street and LaGrange Road near Hickory Hills, Illinois this past weekend. One of our Chicago wrongful death lawyers read that a 51-year-old Crystal Lake woman was driving east on 95th street and had the green light when she entered the intersection. Her SUV was then hit by a pickup truck traveling south on LaGrange road. The 25-year-old Orland Park man ran a red light at the intersection and T-boned the woman’s car. A Cook Country sheriff’s police spokeswoman stated that preliminary investigations indicate the man may have been driving up to 70 miles per hour. The spokeswoman also said the man had made statements that he had been out drinking in Chicago since the evening before.

The woman, a dedicated wife and mother of three, had been traveling to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where she worked as a part time registered nurse when the accident took place. She was taken to Palos Community Hospital shortly after the accident and was later pronounced dead. The Orland Park driver, who was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries, is now in police custody and is being charged for driving under the influence. There were no other passengers in either vehicle, and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

As our attorneys reading the above report noted, accidents caused by failing to obey traffic signals can be fatal. However, as of recently, legislation has been passed and signed into law authorizing the use of traffic safety cameras throughout the state of Illinois to decrease the number of these accidents. Specifically, local police departments are using red light cameras to hold drivers accountable for driving through red lights. As recently as February 2012, legislation was also passed to authorize the use of speed cameras in Chicago school and park zones. Governor Pat Quinn outlined his support for these cameras, stating “Reducing speed around schools and parks where children are present is a good policy for Illinois, and I’ve signed the legislation because I think it does have an impact on safety.”

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Police are currently investigating a three-vehicle accident that killed one and injured four on the Tri-State Tollway in Deerfield. A Chicago truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the accident took place at about 8:30am last Sunday on Interstate 94 near Lake-Cook Road. Chicago.cbslocal.com states that the vehicles involved included a tow truck, a van and a passenger vehicle.

Illinois State Police Tollway District master sergeant told reporters that a 40 year-old man of Algonquin was on his way to work when he began to slow his vehicle to pass through an I-PASS collection lane. As he slowed, a pick up truck behind him continued at normal speed and collided with the back of the passenger vehicle. Just seconds later, a van collided with the back of the pick up truck.

After authorities arrived at the crash scene, four people with life-threatening injuries were taken to an area hospital for serious injuries. The driver from Algonquin was declared dead at the scene. The report states that his specific cause and manner of death was undetermined as of Sunday afternoon and an autopsy was scheduled for Monday. Police cannot disclose any additional details about the crash because their investigation is still active.

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Our Illinois personal injury lawyers recently learned of a terrible multi-vehicle accident scene that caused an excess of injury and damage to those involved. Usatoday.com writes that around 9am, sudden wind gusts and snow showers blew across southbound Interstate 75 in Detroit. A transportation spokesman said that although road crews had pre-salted the expressway’s lanes in preparation for unexpected weather conditions, the show showers quickly turned to ice and caused total white-out conditions beginning on the I-75 bridge. Motorists slammed on their brakes when they realized how slick the roads were, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the eight to ten crashes that occurred within the accident scene.

State Police say that between 150 and 200 vehicles were either involved in crashes or were blocked by accidents. At least a dozen fire and emergency vehicles responded to the scene that stretched for more than a mile, and at least ten flatbed trucks came to assist as well. According to a first responder, one victim’s vehicle was shattered with the back of the vehicle folded up over the front of the vehicle. Many others were totaled, had run into embankments, or had suffered some type of damage. Authorities set up a mobile command post to coordinate how to remove crashed vehicles and handle hazardous material removal because several crash-related fuel spills were reported. Tow trucks remained on site waiting to use heavy machinery to push many vehicles from the road.

Despite the amount of property damage that occurred after the accident, emergency personnel were primarily focused on rescuing injured motorists. A local Police Lieutenant stated that two children, ages 7 and 9, were killed in one accident while their parents and 10-year old sister remained in critical condition. South of that accident, a 54-year old Illinois man died in another crash with a pick-up truck. A dozen additional victims were transported to area hospitals by ambulances and rapid response units with severe injuries. More than thirty people were also treated for injuries at the scene, many of them having suffered blunt trauma from the collisions.

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Illinois State Police recently responded to a serious three-vehicle accident that killed one and injured four others. Dailyherald.com released that the accident occurred early Sunday morning on Interstate 294 in Lake County. According to preliminary reports, a southbound driver of a passenger car initiated the accident by rear-ending a tow truck traveling in front of him. The driver of the tow truck reportedly exited his vehicle to speak to the driver of the car when an oncoming taxi struck the car and began to spin out. The taxi then hit the driver of the tow truck who was standing in the roadway.

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys learned that the tow truck driver is currently recovering with a few broken bones. Sadly, the driver of the passenger car, a 39-year old of Prairie View, was pronounced dead after the crash by a Lake County coroner. Police say it was unclear whether the driver suffered from a medical issue, died upon impact from the first crash with the tow truck, or died after the second impact with the taxi.

Three other individuals involved in the accident were transported to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge with non life-threatening injuries. State Police and the Deerfield Fire Department responded to the scene and remained there until it was cleared. Because of the time of day and light traffic present when the accident occurred, there were no serious delays on the interstate. Police will continue to investigate the accident for the next few days.

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An Illinois wrongful death attorney at our firm recently learned that a woman has been sentenced to seven years in prison for causing a head-on collision that killed another driver in March 2009. Chicagotribune.com highlights the story, stating the 48-year old woman of Aurora pleaded guilty in Kane Court last Thursday to one count of aggravated DUI that killed the 54-year old man.

Specifically, the woman was driving her pickup truck south in the northbound lane of Illinois Route 47 near Sugar Grove when she struck the man’s vehicle. Accident reconstruction estimates show that she was traveling at 73 miles per hour at the time of the accident. Further tests reveal that the woman had cocaine in her system as well.

The report states that prior to the accident, police had received a number of reports from motorists reporting that the woman was “driving erratically, speeding and passing numerous vehicles.” She had been stopped and cited by police about fifteen minutes before the accident.

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An Illinois truck accident attorney at our firm recently learned that transportation fatalities in the United States declined in 2011 by approximately 2 percent. Ntsb.gov reports that preliminary figures released by the National Transportation Safety Board indicate this information. Specifically, transportation fatalities decreased from 35,043 in 2010 to 34,434 in 2011. The majority of these deaths involved passenger cars, light trucks, and vans. A decrease is also present in the number of train fatalities throughout the last year.

NTSB lists additional statistics in the report stating that in contrast to the decrease in fatalities that occurred on U.S. roadways, the total number of deaths actually increased through other means of transportation. The total number of deaths in aviation increased by 18 in 2011, with about 90 percent involving fatalities in general aviation and air taxies. Deaths on U.S. waterways also rose, in which recreational boating continuing to account for the majority of marine fatalities (U.S. Department of Homeland Security).

The chairman of NTSB states, “Transportation accidents remain one of the nation’s leading causes of death. We can do better, which is why the NTSB shines a light on key safety issues each year through the “Most Wanted List Of Transportation Safety Improvements.” Our attorneys want to inform readers about what exactly these safety issues are, in addition to highlighting the appropriate actions motorists can take to help reduce the risk of an accident occurring.

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Winter weather is commonly the cause of numerous accidents throughout the country due to dangerous driving conditions such as ice, snow, and fog. Besides the most common motor-vehicle accidents, such as those involving cars or trucks, an Illinois man was found dead on Monday night while traveling on another means of transportation: the snowmobile. Stltoday.com reports that the 31-year old died of injuries he sustained in a one-machine accident while out with a group of people on the Grand Mesa in Colorado. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital after the accident.

The amount of winter snowfall in Illinois barely compares to the amount of snowfall in Colorado, but snowmobile accidents still occur in many parts of the state. Chicagotribune.com recently released a report stating that two men suffered serious injuries after a snowmobile collision in southern Illinois a few weeks ago.

Our Illinois personal injury lawyers learned that the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) is actively involved in a worldwide campaign to encourage snowmobile safety and safety training programs. However, laws governing snowmobile are said to vary widely among different states, and few restrictions and regulations for operation creates a potentially high risk for accidents to occur.

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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.

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Nbcchicago.com states that a Chicago police officer has been charged with striking and seriously injuring a bicyclist, not only fleeing the scene afterwards, but also filing a false report about the accident. Our law firm learned that the accident occurred in August when the 33-year old officer of almost ten years was driving his truck near California and Wabansia Streets and struck a woman riding her bicycle home from work at 3:45am. Officials say she was knocked unconscious with a head injury, and also suffered other bruises and fractures to the rest of her body. Her boyfriend, who was also riding his bicycle nearby, stated that he saw the pickup speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and running stop signs before he struck the woman.

The report states that the officer called 911 twice from his cell phone to report the accident and provide the location and condition of the victim, without identifying himself as a Chicago police officer. As ambulances approached the scene, the officer got back into his truck, drove around the victim and hit two parked cars as he fled the scene, his license plate falling off of his truck in the process. “To find out that he was a police officer and was not taking action at that point, that really surprises me,” said the woman’s boyfriend.

Even more surprising, prosecutors say the officer filed a false report with police two days later. He ultimately tried to conceal his wrongdoing by blaming the bicyclist for the accident, stating the woman disregarded a stop sign and hit his truck, later fleeing the scene. Authorities who recovered paint samples from the truck, in addition to the truck’s missing license plate, determined the truck had hit the woman’s bicycle and both parked cars. Medical and forensic records also indicate the officer was to blame for the accident.

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While our attorneys continue to stress the importance of driving safely on any holiday weekend, the importance of this is especially critical this weekend as the long waited Thanksgiving holiday approaches. Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled holiday time of the year and is therefore the most dangerous time of the year, with the highest number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities taking place nationwide. Distraction, alcohol consumption, inclement weather, and heavy traffic all combine to create hazardous conditions. Our law firm wants this year’s Thanksgiving to be enjoyable for you and your family, but we also want everyone to be safe.

This year, the official Thanksgiving holiday period will start at 6:00pm on Wednesday, November 21st and run through midnight on Sunday the 25th. During this four-day period in 2011, 431 people died, according to Einsurance.com. This year, the number of people traveling is expected to increase. To lessen your chances of being in an accident this weekend, here are few things to keep in mind.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that of the fatalities that occurred during the 2011 Thanksgiving weekend, more than two thirds of the total fatalities did not have their seatbelts fastened. Many accidents also occurred because of drivers speeding to their Thanksgiving destination, which reduces reaction time and also makes it less likely for drivers to wear a seatbelt. Therefore, wearing a seatbelt and driving at a proper speed are two easy ways to prevent serious injury.