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Illinois fire volunteer dies in crash during accident cleanup

Family members who experience the accidental, sudden death of a spouse, parent or child seek elusive answers. How could a husband or father be taken away so quickly, permanently and senselessly? Legal actions help to punish wrongdoers and lighten the pain of relatives devastated by the negligence of others.

A fatal accident can also deprive a community of a valuable contributor. An Illinois firefighter recently died in the line of duty. The 39-year-old volunteer and five other McLean County workers were struck by a tractor trailer while clearing a nighttime accident near Hudson.

Authorities said cleanup crews had been at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on Interstate 39 for about an hour when a passing, loaded car carrier swung out of control. The truck smashed into three emergency vehicles, injuring half a dozen members of the Hudson Fire Department.

One of the fire department volunteers later died in a hospital emergency room. The father of two had suffered catastrophic injuries from blunt force trauma to his chest, pelvis and head. The medical conditions of the surviving firefighters and truck driver were not reported.

Fire departments in Bloomington and Hudson lowered flags to half-mast. Officials publicly recognized the enormity of the loss to the local firefighting community. Police did not report whether charges would be filed against the semi-truck driver.

Along with the grief and sorrow associated with their loved one's death, the wife and children of the workplace accident victim may also endure overwhelming economic pressures. The combination of funeral and burial expenses, final medical costs and the deprivation of the husband and father's financial support can endanger the survivors' wellbeing.

Wrongful death claims ease hardships that workers' families suffer caused by on-the-job tragedies related to neglect or recklessness. Personal injury attorneys understand emotional pain may never be alleviated entirely. Laws attempt to protect and compensate relatives for fatalities that could have been prevented.

Source: firehouse.com, "Firefighter Killed, Five Hurt at Illinois Crash Scene," March 6, 2013

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