Witnesses report that the victim, a 26 year old resident of the area was crossing Columbus Drive at Illinois Street when the accident occurred. At the time the crosswalk sign was lit up and the pedestrian had the right of way. However, a large tour bus without passengers was trying to make a right turn. The bus was supposed to allow all pedestrians to cross before attempting to turn, however the driver did not see the victim. As a result, the bus driver drove right into the woman as she was crossing the street. Witnesses rushed to the scene to attempt to help the unconscious woman, but little could be done. She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead shortly after.
Investigations subsequent to the accident revealed a list of concerns with the driver who was behind the wheel when the accident occurred. It remains a mystery how the man ever got a job driving a large bus at all. For one thing, cocaine was found in his system shortly after the crash occurred. On top of that the man had over 20 traffic citations in the past two decades-he clearly had repeated problems following basic traffic laws. What’s more is that the driver was wanted on two counts of aggravated sexual abuse for apparently molesting two young girls in his home.
It remains a tragedy that Chicago truck crashes continue strike across our area. Unfortunately in many of those cases, like this one, the driver of the large machine violates safety standards causing the accident. In the most egregious cases, also like this one, truck drivers are under the influence of substances like drugs and alcohol.
Last October our attorneys at Levin & Perconti worked on a similar case where we earned a record $6.5 million Illinois truck crash settlement for the surviving family of a woman who was killed when a truck driver rear-ended the family’s vehicle. In that case the negligent driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time. The owners of that truck did little to ensure that their employee was capable of driving safely. The owners did not perform regular drug tests, obtain his driving records, or conduct a background test to ensure his fitness.
All owners of trucks and buses must ensure that their employees are capable of handling the large machines safely. Our Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti send sincere condolences to the friends and family of the victim in this tragic case and similar accidents in our area. It is vital that these negligent truck owners be accountable for this conduct and make changes to prevent all future accidents.
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