In almost all instances, a driver who rear ends another vehicle in Illinois is held primarily or solely responsible for the collision. That’s because all drivers are required to yield to vehicles in front of them and to allow enough room to stop without striking these vehicles. But one of the few possible exceptions to this rule involves rear-end collisions on a highway or interstate.
Such were the circumstances this past weekend in a deadly auto accident in the Chicago suburb of Maywood. Early Sunday morning around 3:45 am, a 1998 Ford Windstar minivan was stopped in the center lane of inbound Eisenhower Expressway (Interstate 290) near First Avenue, which is about four miles east of the interchange with the Tri-State Tollway and the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway. A 2012 Dodge Durango sport utility vehicle traveling in the same direction slammed into the back of the minivan. The 30-year old female driver of the Windstar as well as a 29-year old woman in the rear seat died in the collision, while the front seat passenger of the minivan and the driver of the SUV were injured.
Right now, it’s unclear why the Windstar was stopped in the center lane; no citations have been issued by police as of yet. If it is determined that the minivan was stopped due to traffic, then the driver of the Durango would probably be held liable for the crash and the deaths of the two women. In this case, the surviving relatives of the women could file wrongful death lawsuits against the SUV driver.
However, it is assumed that drivers on interstates should not stop in a lane of traffic for no reason. If an investigation reveals that the Windstar had broken down or had stopped for no reason on the Eisenhower Expressway, then it’s possible that the 30-year old woman could be to blame for the collision. This would make her the defendant in any wrongful death lawsuit filed by the relatives of the deceased passenger – as well as for personal injury lawsuits filed by those who were hurt it the crash.