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Woman, girl severely injured in Chicago truck crash and blaze

Some drivers involved in crashes tell authorities they failed to see another motorist. The statement often means the at--fault driver wasn’t paying attention or, worse, assumed another, often smaller vehicle, would get out of the way.

An out-of-control tractor trailer recently smashed into two cars on Edens Expressway near Chicago. Illinois. State Police said the truck’s negligent driver injured four people, including a 10—year--old girl. One of the critically-injured car accident victims suffered third-degree burns.

Troopers said the Sunday night accident occurred when the semi-truck attempted to merge left. After a collision with a first car in the center lane, the rig swung abruptly right and hit a second car. The truck spun wildly toward the left shoulder and crashed into a wall.

Fire erupted when a gas tank on the truck burst into flames. A pair of brothers in a vehicle just behind the crash stopped and hurried to aid victims. Two explosions were heard. One of the men rescued a passenger from the truck as his sibling prepared to warn oncoming traffic.

The second brother heard cries and discovered a woman and girl lying beneath the tractor trailer next to a crushed car. The woman’s hair and the child’s clothing were on fire. The rescuer extinguished the flames and pulled the victims to safety.

Authorities said the injuries the 39—year--old woman and the girl sustained were life--threatening. Two other victims, identified as a man and woman, both 49, were hospitalized with less than life-threatening injuries.

The accident investigation is ongoing. Troopers cited the truck driver for driving without insurance and improper use of a traffic lane. Police did not indicate whether further charges would be filed.

Severe burn injuries can be disabling and disfiguring, requiring long--term treatment. Compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering, staggering medical costs and other damages could be recovered through a personal injury lawsuit in an Illinois civil court.

Source:  chicagotribune.com, "Brothers help save victims from fiery Edens crash" Jennifer Delgado, Apr. 22, 2013

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