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Speed possible factor in Illinois teens' parking lot fatality

Auto accident fatalities are often associated with uninterrupted stretches of back roads or high-speed highways. Parking lot crashes seem harmless by comparison, although they can be just as deadly for victims injured in a motorcycle accident.

Two Illinois teens who died in a recent crash may have believed little harm could come to them riding around a parking lot. After all, most parking lot accidents are fender benders that occur at low speeds with minimal injuries and little property damage.

The Crete-Monee High School graduates were riding together on a motorcycle. A friend of the accident victims said the 19-year-old male motorcycle owner never rode with a passenger and regularly wore a helmet but changed plans that Friday night. Apparently, no second helmet was available for the passenger.

The choice to ride helmetless may have cost the riders their lives. A coroner's report said the motorcycle operator suffered injuries to his head. Multiple fatal injuries were listed for the female passenger.

Little was said in media accounts about how the accident happened. Police reported evidence including tire marks seemed to indicate the bike crashed while speeding. It is unclear from reports what obstacle, if any, the Kawasaki Ninja struck.

The victims were friends through and after high school. The older teen was in college. His ex-classmate had chosen to go to beauty school. Neither young adult would live to realize their careers or dreams.

Financial losses following a young adult's death can be as stressful as the emotional trauma. Parents can incur debts for the victim's final medical expenses, as well as funeral and burial arrangements.

The suffering of the passenger's family cannot be discounted because both victims died or because they were friends. A civil claim of negligence against the estate of the motorcycle operator could lead to a settlement or award that provides economic relief for the girl's parents.

Source:, "Teens killed in motorcycle crash at Crete Monee High School" Diane Pathieu, Jul. 06, 2013

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