Many boys and girls get nervous about navigating the transition from elementary school to middle school or junior high. They worry about finding friends, fitting in, being the youngest class in the school, dealing with more difficult courses, and adjusting to a more regimented class schedule. But the only thing worse than making a change to a new school is not being around to make any such changes at all.
That’s why the sudden death of an 11-year old boy in Sangamon County is so tragic. Shortly after 4:15pm on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 17, the boy was sitting in the rear passenger seat of a vehicle that was traveling northbound on Bab Road just east of Auburn. The vehicle was stopped at the stop sign of the intersection with Illinois Route 104 when an eastbound vehicle left the highway, drove on the right shoulder, and slammed into the driver’s side of the stopped vehicle. The 51-year old woman in the driver’s seat and the 63-year old woman in the passenger seat were rushed to a nearby hospital with serious injuries, but the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.
The 27-year old woman from Springfield who was driving the vehicle on Illinois 104 received several citations from Illinois State Police, including reckless driving, failing to reduce speed to avoid a crash, improper lane usage, and improper driving on the shoulder. It appears that the Springfield woman will be held solely responsible for the fatal auto accident.
If this is indeed the case, the surviving relatives of the 11-year old boy have solid grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the 27-year old. A jury could award the plaintiffs monetary damages for mental anguish, reimbursement for burial expenses, and the estimated wages that the boy would have earned during his adult lifetime.