Traffic during summer's peak includes the added volume of motorcyclists and vacation-bound travelers from in and out of state. The rush to enjoy the fading weeks of the season, before the advent of school commitments and cooler weather, is a prime time for accidents.
Inattentive drivers can be lulled by pleasant weather and a relaxed mindset. Vacationing motorists also travel unfamiliar highways where traffic suddenly comes to a crawl or stop for road construction projects. One or more of these factors may have contributed to a recent accident that reportedly injured over a half dozen people and killed an Illinois woman.
Three vehicles were involved in the first of two accidents on Interstate 380. A truck driver geared down as construction slowed traffic near Gilbertville, Iowa. The truck was struck from behind by an ambulance occupied by three people, including a patient in transport.
A motorcycle behind the collision swerved. The 67-year-old bike operator and his 70-year-old female passenger were ejected. The injured were taken to hospitals by ambulance and helicopter. The patients' medical statuses were not reported.
An hour and a half later, a sheriff's deputy was directing traffic around the crash cleanup when a second motorcycle accident occurred. The bike struck the deputy's unoccupied vehicle. A Cook County man, the bike operator, was injured. His 44-year-old female companion died.
The ambulance driver and possibly the driver's employer may be held responsible for the medical bills and wage losses of the numerous injured victims. It is unclear whether the ambulance was making a routine transport or speeding a patient to a hospital. In either case, the operator's mission cannot supercede the obligation to drive safely.
Wrongful death damages may be sought by the family of the Illinois woman killed in the second crash. A jury would decide whether the bike operator's failure to adapt to a change in traffic direction and speed was negligent.
iowacity.patch.com, "Iowa City Man Injured in Accident Involving Ambulance, Motorcycle and Truck" Alison Gowans, Aug. 03, 2013