In the vast majority of auto accidents in Illinois, the determination of accountability for injuries and deaths is pretty straightforward. When you find the person responsible for causing the accident, you find the one who should be held liable for monetary damages in a civil suit. But what if a collision is caused by someone who was not involved in it?
This question comes to mind in the case of a deadly vehicle crash in Springfield last week. On Friday night shortly after 9:30pm, a sport utility vehicle being driven by a 27-year old woman was traveling south on Ninth Street just south of downtown Springfield. Police say that the SUV ran a red light at the intersection with Jefferson Street, and it was struck by a westbound pickup truck. The impact pushed the SUV into a pole; and the driver’s 49-year old mother, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was killed. Two people in the pickup truck also sustained injuries as well.
But here’s the unusual aspect of this wreck: authorities confirm that the 27-year old woman was on the phone with police dispatchers at the time of the collision. The driver was telling dispatchers that she was being chased by another vehicle.
The investigation is still ongoing, and Springfield Police have yet to determine who was chasing the woman. If this individual is found, the next step would be to identify him or her and then try to figure out what role if any the car chase had on the deadly collision.
It’s not impossible to envision a case where a car chase suspect could be held partially responsible for the auto accident and the death of the 29-year old woman. In this case, the daughter or the widower could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the car chase suspect.