Police in southwest metropolitan Chicago say an intoxicated man killed another driver in a wrong-way highway crash. The alleged drunk driver was formally charged with aggravated DUI.
The suspect will be jailed on $500,000 bail following hospital treatment for his auto accident injuries. A conviction on felony drunk driving accident charges would imprison the man for up to 14 years.
The fatal crash happened in the overnight hours as the suspect's minivan was headed westbound on Interstate 80. The van operator was moving in the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes when he collided head-on with a vehicle driven by an elderly delivery driver.
The 66-year-old driver's car was struck a second time by a tractor-trailer. The county coroner believes the Bridgeview man probably was dead in advance of the 18-wheeler collision.
Standard investigative procedure calls for blood alcohol tests to be administered to drivers following an injury crash or fatality. Police did not publicize BAC test results for the suspect in the initial accident report.
Investigators discovered neither driver braked before the crash. The elderly man may have misunderstood what he was seeing because oncoming headlights seemed out of place. The victims last moments could have included pain and suffering with the realization that life-threatening danger was unavoidable.
A victim's suffering, no matter how momentary, may be compensable in a wrongful death lawsuit. Family members deprived of a spouse, child or parent's support and companionship have a right to recover damages from a negligent driver.
A personal injury attorney informs and advises accident victims and families who are considering civil actions. Preparation of a liability lawsuit takes time. State laws limit how long plaintiffs have to file a claim before the statute of limitations expires.
Speaking with a lawyer may be emotionally draining soon after a family member's death, but an early consultation provides every available legal advantage to achieve civil justice.
Source: morrisdailyherald.com, "Chicago man charged in fatal I-80 crash," Christina Chapman-Van Yperen, March 6, 2013