Two women were injured after a Chicago Fire Department engine struck their vehicle in Chicago last Monday. The accident occurred at about 3:30pm at the intersection of Congress Parkway and Columbus Drive when the fire truck was responding to an emergency call in the Loop. The truck had its lights and sirens on as it attempted to travel through the intersection, according to a Chicago Fire Department spokesman. Witnesses say that while all other vehicles nearby stopped to allow the truck to proceed, the vehicle carrying both women failed to stop and reportedly turned in front of the truck on Columbus Drive. The fire truck then collided with the vehicle, which was pushed onto a sidewalk and into a parked car.
Abclocal.go.com states the women had to be extricated from the vehicle and were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious-to-critical condition. The fire department spokeswoman believes the women’s’ conditions were stabilized because of their vehicle’s full set of airbags having deployed after the collision. It was unclear whether any firefighters or fire personnel were injured, but damage to the fire truck was believed to be minimal.
Our accident lawyers remind drivers that Illinois has had a law in place for 10 years to protect emergency vehicles and personnel from both reckless drivers and drivers that may interfere with an emergency vehicle that is responding to an emergency call. The legislation was created after a Lieutenant of the Chicago Fire Department was struck and killed by a drunken driver while assisting at a traffic crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2001. Scott’s Law, also known as the “Move Over Law,” was enacted in 2002 and requires Illinois motorists to reduce their speed and change lanes when approaching an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, being sure to proceed with caution. These emergency vehicles include police cars, fire engines, ambulances, and tow trucks. The law also requires that motorists yield to any vehicle equipped with red, white, blue, and/or yellow warning lights and yield to highway workers.
Our lawyers encourage all motorists to be mindful of this law, no matter if they are driving in Illinois or any other state. It is crucial that the law is followed for the safety of emergency personnel and every motorist or pedestrians on the roadway. Unfortunately, collisions similar to the one described above do occur, and many individuals are injured or somehow affected every year because of them.
Our attorneys are very familiar with Illinois legislation and have represented many individuals and families in various accident lawsuits. If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury, medical expenses, or property damage as the result of a motor vehicle accident, we are willing to assist you in determining if legal recourse may be available to you, informing you of your rights, and ultimately offering you the resources you need to seek legal action. Contact us for more information.