There’s an old saying that goes, “Nothing good ever happens after midnight (or some other late night or early morning hour).” This is sometimes used by adults to refer to the activities of minors who are left to their own devices during the overnight hours. However, kids can sometimes be harmed at night if they are in a vehicle together – especially if the adult driving the vehicle is intoxicated.
This was the disturbing scene last week on a Chicago freeway. Early Friday morning shortly after 12:15am, a 30-year old Chicago woman was driving a 1997 Chevy Suburban at a high rate of speed on southbound Interstate 57 near the Washington Heights neighborhood. Near 99th Street, the SUV left the right side of the road, hit an embankment, and flipped over. A total of nine children ages 3 to 14 (along with another adult) were in the SUV when it flipped, and at least seven of the kids were not properly restrained. Everyone in the vehicle had to be taken to area hospitals with injuries, and two of them were in critical condition.
Chicago Police later filed charges of driving under the influence against the 30-year old driver involved in the SUV accident. It wasn’t clear why the woman was driving nine young kids on the freeway after midnight.
Authorities say that some of the children belonged to the DUI suspect. But the parents of the other kids (one of whom might have been the other injured adult; the story doesn’t specify whether or not that is the case) may choose to file personal injury lawsuits against the Chicago woman. These suits could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for medical bills, damages for pain and suffering, and perhaps even punitive damages if the driver is convicted of DUI. The adult passenger who was injured in the auto accident could also file such a suit as well.