For some reason, the famous Lake Shore Drive in Chicago seems to be the site of an inordinate number of wrong-way crashes. One theory is that LSD is a divided multi-lane thoroughfare which may cause disorientation for some of the many out-of-towners who visit Chicago’s downtown area annually; and that they may accidentally turn onto a portion of the roadway and travel in the wrong direction.
But that wouldn’t explain why an off-duty North Chicago police officer drove the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive and caused a deadly accident.
The crash happened early Friday morning around 4am. Authorities say that the 35-year old officer somehow entered the southbound lanes at LaSalle Drive and began driving north. After driving at least two miles, the man’s sport utility vehicle first struck a 2006 Toyota and then crashed into a 2013 Jeep between Diversey Parkway and Belmont Avenue. The woman driving the Toyota was treated for her injuries and released from a nearby hospital. But the wreck killed the two men who were in the Jeep. Chicago Police are investigating whether alcohol played a role in the fatal auto accident.
Because the SUV driver was off-duty, the North Chicago Police Department will probably not be held accountable for the crash. But the 35-year old man could be named as a defendant individually in any wrongful death lawsuits filed by the surviving family members of the two men in the Jeep. Such lawsuits could allow the families to collect reimbursement for burial expenses, compensation for the estimate lost future wages that would have been earned by the two men, and even monetary damages for mental anguish and loss of care or companionship. In addition, the injured woman could file a personal injury lawsuit against the North Chicago policeman to get reimbursed for her medical expenses.