Articles Posted in Injuries to Minors and Children

Chicago Tribune released a saddening article detailing the death of a 4-year old boy after he fell off his bicycle and was fatally struck by a semi-trailer truck. The report states the boy was riding his new two-wheeler down his driveway and onto East Oakton Street in the northwest suburbs near Des Plaines when he fell. His aunt told reporters, “It just happened really fast. I think his pants were stuck to the bike, and he couldn’t get back up.” He was hit by the rear axle of the semi and was declared dead at the scene after suffering from multiple blunt force injuries. The boy’s mother, who had been pushing a stroller alongside of him, rushed to her son after the collision. The driver of the truck and his passenger also stopped and attempted to help. According to a spokeswoman for the Cook County sheriff’s police, the truck driver was not ticketed.

Our wrongful death attorneys also learned that a 41-year old man from Champaign was killed when the bicycle he was riding swerved into the path of a pickup truck. Illinois State Police told Herald Review he was riding north alongside U.S. 45 near Arcola, just south of Douglass County Road, when a 28-year old pickup truck driver moved to the left to pass him. As he passed, the bicyclist appeared to lose control and “began riding/falling to the left into the northbound lane,” according to state police. The pickup truck struck the bicycle and threw the bicyclist into the highway’s northbound lane. He was pronounced dead at the scene, while the pickup truck driver was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Bicycling is a popular pastime for many families and children, especially during the summer and autumn when the weather is nice. While the activity is generally safe, many Illinois accidents unfortunately involve bicyclists. Semi trucks, tractor-trailers, and pickup trucks are vehicles that are commonly involved in bicycle collisions because of their large weight, height, and number of blind spots present, in combination with extreme vulnerability of the bicyclist. Oftentimes, driver negligence is at play if motorists fail to yield to bicyclists, do not give them the space they need while riding on roadways, do not follow the rules of the road, or are distracted while driving. Other times, accidents can be caused when the bicyclist loses control and falls into the pathway of another vehicle, as seen in the above reports.

An Illinois semi truck driver is facing severe consequences after his vehicle struck and killed four family members. The accident was caused by driver fatigue. The Chicago Sun Times released a report detailing the accident that occurred when the 36-year old truck driver of River Grove slammed into the back of another car while travelling westbound on Interstate 80. The impact caused this car, driven by a 30-year old man, to crash into a nearby car, driven by his 28-year old wife and carrying his two young children in the backseat. This car was then propelled underneath a truck and trailer nearby on the roadway. All vehicles burst into flames, and all four family members in both cars were pronounced dead at the scene.

The semi driver currently remains in jail and had a bond review hearing for $1 million. He was charged with four felony counts of manslaughter and four more counts of vehicular homicide due to driver fatigue. The manslaughter charges carry penalties of twenty years imprisonment and a fine of up to $25,000 on each count upon conviction, and the motor vehicle homicide counts carry a sentence of up to five years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000 on each charge upon conviction, according to the report.

Our truck accident lawyers learned that the driver’s truck company, AKI Trucking Inc. of Romeoville, has been in operation since 2010. Online records from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) reveal that the company’s recent Driver Fatigued Scores were notably alarming. During the last two years, the company has received a composite Fatigued Driving Score of 80.9%; the threshold allowed before FMSCA intervention is 65%. These percentages come from compilations of out of service violations or poor inspections. During a recent inspection, an operator was cited for failure to retain his previous seven days’ hours of service logs, as required by law. Incomplete logs often signal that a particular driver is operating his vehicle past the 14-hour service or 11-hour driving limit, per service day. The FMSCA will now possibly conduct an investigation of the company.

A personal injury attorney at our firm recently read that a school bus full of children collided with a two-axle box truck near Barrington this past week. CBS Local states that a school bus on the Tristate Tollway was carrying students from a nearby middle school when it collided with a truck. The bus was allegedly traveling with seven additional school buses around 10am when the collision took place, witnesses stating that the truck was the size of a moving van.

Illinois State Police released that twenty students sustained non-life threatening injuries as a result of the accident. “They (the children) are being treated and taken to local hospitals,” stated a spokesperson for the police department. At least five ambulances transported the students from the scene of the accident. The report states that southbound traffic on the toll way was backed up for miles as officials worked to assist the injured and clear the scene.

School bus accidents, including collisions between buses, trucks, or cars injure about 8,000 children every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although the report does not specify who was responsible for the accident, our attorneys believe it is important to understand the risks and preventative measures that can be taken to avoid school bus related injuries. These measures include allowing proper distances between your vehicle and school buses on the roadway and being careful when making turns.

ABC Local released an accident report last Thursday that authorities and witnesses are declaring nothing less than a tragedy. A family of seven, including three adults and four children, was traveling home on Interstate 65 around 10pm when traffic had slowed for construction. An inattentive semi truck driver suddenly rear-ended the jeep. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the impact pushed the jeep into another semi truck in front of it.

When state police arrived at the scene, a sergeant stated, “The Jeep was burned, for the most part, beyond recognition.” Because of the damage the vehicle sustained and the compaction of the vehicle after impact, authorities initially estimated that only two people were trapped inside. After looking more closely, they discovered that seven individuals had been killed: a 27-year-old mom with her 5 and 3-year-old daughters, the woman’s sister and her two young children, and the children’s uncle. The semi truck driver remained uninjured, and no citations or charges have been filed in the case so far.

Our wrongful death lawyers and many others were saddened by the number of individuals killed in this accident, in addition to the fact that four of those people were children under the age of 8 years old. Though details are continuing to be released about the collision, police say, “The cause of the crash was due to inattentive driving and negligence on the semi-tractor trailer driver’s part.” The report states that the driver has been ticketed for speeding at least five times since 2006 and has also been cited for failing to submit to a required truck weigh-in, both possibly contributing to the accident. A witness from a nearby day care center said, “There’s no reason for a family to be missing seven family members today due to somebody not paying attention.”

Tragedy struck this weekend in Chicago when a delivery truck killed a 5-year old girl while she was crossing the street with her family. CBS Chicago released that the accident occurred around 11:25am Saturday at 103rd and State Streets in the Roseland neighborhoods. The little girl was attempting to cross State Street with her mother and brother when the delivery truck struck and killed her. Witnesses say the girl had broken free from her mother and ran under the truck’s back wheels.

A witness stated that he tried to help the family after the accident by telling them to refrain from picking up the girl or moving her. But everyone soon realized that nothing could be done for her and that the truck had simply crushed her. The driver of the truck and his passenger stopped immediately after they realized the truck had hit something; he was devastated to see it was a child. Neither he nor the witness had noticed the girl behind the truck until it was too late.

A truck accident lawyer at our firm learned that the girl was rushed to the nearest hospital, but police say the girl was already dead when first responders arrived at the scene. Witnesses say her family was simply heartbroken, in disbelief, and almost hysterical at the scene, having just helplessly witnessed a vehicle so suddenly cut their 5-year old’s life short. Though it does not seem as though any charges will be filed in this case, the police Major Accident Unit is continuing to investigate the accident.

An accident outside of Gurnee near Six Flags Great America injured sixteen people last Friday morning, according to Chicagotribune.com. Families and children traveling to the state theme park were stunned to see the six-vehicle crash and six ambulances that had responded to the scene. A truck accident attorney at our firm learned that the accident took place on I-94 at mile marker 9.5 near Grand Avenue, just north of Washington Street.

The accident was allegedly the result of a chain reaction collision involving three SUV’s, two passenger vehicles, and one semi truck that was hauling a trailer. Preliminary investigations of the accident determined that five vehicles were stopped in traffic in the far two right lanes of the interstate. The semi-truck was driving behind them and was unable to reduce speed. He then struck the rear of one of the vehicles, causing it to push into the others in front of it.

Gurnee Fire Department Chief reported that paramedics responded to the scene immediately and transported sixteen victims to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Of those victims, three were in critical condition and two were airlifted from the medical center via Flight for Life to another hospital in Park Ridge. The thirteen remaining patients, who included both adults and children, ranged from fair to serious condition. Illinois State Police say that all of the patients were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision.

With high summer temperatures bringing many regions of the country heat and humidity, staying cool during these times is critical in order to prevent serious injury or damage to one’s health. Although we hear about incidents every year when the summers comes around, a personal injury attorney at our firm was surprised to read a report about a woman who recently left her child in her car while the temperature was ninety degrees outside.

Cbs.local.com reports that the ten-year-old girl was left unattended in the parked car outside of a grocery store while the driver went shopping. Police say that an officer checking to make sure the fire lanes in front of the store were clear spotted the car illegally parked in the fire lane. When the officer looked closer, he saw that the car was running and the little girl was inside. When he spoke with the girl, she told him she had been waiting there for a very long time.

The report states that the 25 year-old driver was later ticketed for leaving the girl in the vehicle while she went shopping. According to police, this had been the sixth time last week that someone had been charged with leaving a child, dog, or a combination of both in a car, sometimes with temperatures higher than ninety degrees and the car windows closed.

Cbsnews.com reports that four Chicago-area teens from Wilmington High School were killed last Tuesday when their vehicle overturned and plunged into Forked Creek. An accident attorney at our firm learned that the victims, two boys and two girls ranging from fifteen to seventeen years old, left their homes on Monday evening and never returned. A bus driver near Ballou Road spotted their car and bodies around 7:30am Tuesday morning in Wilmington, about fifty miles southwest of Chicago. A tow truck was called to pull the car from the water, and officials worked to remove the bodies from the wreck. The cause of the accident is currently unknown, but police believe there may have been run-off water coming over the roadway from the creek and possible ice that contributed to the vehicle overturning.

The occurrence of this accident was especially significant for our lawyers because the teenagers were among fifteen who have been killed in three major accidents since last week. Five teens were killed in Texas when their vehicle ran a stop sign and collided with a fuel tanker truck. That same day, six Ohio teens were killed when their SUV sped off a stretch of roadway at eighty miles per hour and flipped into a pond.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes have been declining in all parts of the country, dropping from 8,748 in 1975 to 3,115 in 2010. However, the risk of being in an accident is three times higher for teens than any other group of drivers. Accident injuries are the leading cause of death for individuals aging from thirteen to nineteen years old. Even more, Illinois ranks twelfth in the country for fatalities in crashes involving young drivers by state.

A school bus with 34 students on board collided with two other vehicles last Friday near north suburban Wadsworth, resulting in one death. Chicago.cbslocal.com released information regarding the accident, stating that it occurred around 8am on Route 173 and Kilbourne. The bus had been traveling westbound on Route 173 to transport the students to Newport Elementary School when it suddenly collided with a jeep traveling south on Kilbourne. A second jeep was also involved in the accident, although it was not clear what direction it was traveling at the time of the crash.

Our Illinois bus accident attorneys learned that the bus overturned as a result of the collision. It was knocked over on the driver’s side about thirty yards west of the intersection. The front of the bus landed in a ditch and the windows busted out. Students immediately began filing out of the bus, and nearby drivers attempted to help.

Authorities said the children were already off the bus when emergency crews arrived. Thankfully, the students and the bus driver only suffered minor injuries. Officials said there were no seat belts on the school bus, but the high seat backs on the bus might have protected the children from more serious injuries. They were all taken to nearby hospitals and treated for non life-threatening bumps, bruises, and fractures. School counselors helped keep the students calm while they were being treated. Many panicked parents rushed to the hospital after being informed about the accident. Considering the bus had tipped over in the crash, many parents and members of the school district were thankful that all of the children were okay.

Starherald.com recently released that the trial of a truck driver charged with killing an entire family in a multiple-vehicle accident has been scheduled for September. Our accident lawyers learned that the 36-year old driver’s arraignment hearing took place in January, in which a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf on four counts of manslaughter, four counts of motor vehicle homicide by willful reckless driving, and one count of motor vehicle homicide of an unborn child by driving recklessly.

The report states that the family consisted of a 30-year old man from Maryland, his 28-year old wife, and the couple’s two and three-year old children. The family had been among other drivers stopped on Interstate 80 as emergency crews were responding to a previous accident. The couple was driving separate vehicles at the time. Allegedly, the truck driver drove onto the scene, failing to notice the emergency lights or slow down for the stopped vehicles, and struck the husband’s vehicle. The force of this collision pushed his vehicle into his wife’s car, which was forced underneath a semi-tractor trailer. All family members were killed upon impact. The woman was pregnant at the time of the crash and her unborn child also died.

State police say that when the accident occurred, the truck driver had been driving for more than fifteen hours, violating commercial motor vehicle federal regulations. He also failed to observe radio traffic and other warnings that would have alerted him about the accidents on the interstate. He remains in a local jail on a $1 million bond, and a pre-trial conference is scheduled for late-May.

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