Statistics in Illinois (and across the country) indicate that driving during the overnight hours is much more dangerous than in daylight in terms of the frequency of auto accidents. To some people, this may seem counterintuitive, since there are usually fewer vehicles on the state’s roads during these times. But a number of factors contribute to this increased prevalence of overnight wrecks, including darkness, road conditions, and possibly even alcohol.
All of these factors appears to have played a role in the deadly crash in the Chicago suburb of Calumet Park over the weekend. Around 4:30am Sunday morning, a 1997 Oldsmobile was heading north on Interstate 57 when it rolled over and slammed into a guardrail as well as a concrete bridge support near 127th Street. Illinois State Police said that the car was traveling too fast given the weather conditions at the time, and that alcohol is suspected to have been involved. Two people, a 24-year old man and a 20-year old woman, both died in the auto accident. No other vehicles were reportedly involved.
The news story does not indicate which of the two victims was behind the wheel of the Oldsmobile. If a subsequent investigation determines that the man was driving, then the surviving family members of the woman could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the estate of the man. But if investigators conclude that the woman was behind the wheel, the man’s surviving relatives may choose to file a similar type of suit against the woman’s estate.
Either wrongful death lawsuit could permit the plaintiffs to receive reimbursement for burial expenses, monetary damages for loss of care and companionship as well as mental anguish, and even the estimate wages that the passenger would have earned in his or her lifetime had the crash never taken place.