It’s never wise to ignore a stop sign on the roads of Illinois. Other drivers are assuming that you will stop according to the law; and if you don’t, the chances of a collision dramatically increase. But it’s an especially bad idea when you are approaching a stop sign and your sightlines for cross traffic are severely limited.
That apparently was the case in an auto accident on the West Side of Chicago last week. On Thursday afternoon shortly before 3:15pm, a 48-year old woman was driving her car south on Racine Avenue, and she drove into a tunnel underneath several railroad tracks. Just outside the mouth of the tunnel was the intersection with West 16th Street, which is regulated by a four-way stop. For some reason, the woman ran the stop sign and her car struck a school bus that was heading west on 16th. A child on the bus was injured and had to be rushed to a nearby hospital in stable condition. The woman was cited by Chicago Police for failing to obey a stop sign.
When emerging from the tunnel, it would have been difficult for the woman to see the westbound school bus because her view was obstructed by cement pillars and the tunnel itself. And since she blew through the stop sign and caused the auto accident, she could potentially be named as a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit filed by the parents of the injured child, who would file such a suit on their youngster’s behalf. This means that a jury could order the 48-year old woman to reimburse the plaintiffs for medical expenses, including ambulance charges, hospitalization costs, treatments and medications, and physical therapy sessions. She may also have to pay monetary damages related to pain and suffering to the child and his or her parents.