The early morning hours are among the most dangerous for drivers in Illinois and across the nation. That’s because even though there are substantially fewer vehicles on the road, a much higher percentage of them are operated by impaired drivers. As a result, there are more deadly auto accidents involving drunk drivers during this time.
A fatal collision this weekend on Chicago’s Southwest Side appears to follow this pattern. Around 2am Sunday morning, an 18-year old woman was driving a 2008 Chevy Malibu northeast on Archer Avenue just west of Kedzie Avenue in the Brighton Park neighborhood. The woman tried to turn left across traffic onto Sawyer Avenue, but instead crashed head-on into an oncoming 2011 Nissan Maxima. The impact was so forceful that the engine block from one of the cars traveled some 50 feet away from the vehicles.The 28-year old male driver of the Maxima died less than an hour later at a nearby hospital. A total of four other people, who were passengers from both cars, were also injured in the wreck. According to police, the 18-year old Malibu driver admitted to drinking vodka earlier in the evening, and also had bloodshot eyes and breath which smelled of alcohol. She was placed under arrest on charges of DUI and failure to yield the right of way after receiving treatment at a hospital for hand and leg injuries.In addition to her myriad legal troubles, the teen driver also faces a potential wrongful death lawsuit from the family members of the Maxima driver, as well as personal injury lawsuits from the injured passengers in both vehicles. She may be ordered to reimburse the plaintiffs for hospital expenses they incurred as a result of the auto accident. In addition, the family of the Maxima driver may also seek damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship and care, as well as future wages which would have been earned by the 28-year old man.