Drivers of cars are supposed to be wary of tractor-trailers on the highway and to treat them a bit differently than they would other passenger vehicles. They’re told not to tailgate big rigs. They’re instructed to stay out of truck drivers’ blind spots. They’re taught to give 18-wheelers more room to change lanes. However, truck drivers have to do their part as well to avoid highway collisions. But that didn’t happen this weekend in Lee County – and a motorist lost his life as a result.
On Saturday evening just after 7:45pm, a car driven by a 32-year old Compton man was traveling south on Interstate 39 about 12 miles north of Mendota near Beemerville Road. Up ahead of the car, a southbound tractor-trailer ran off the right side of the road into the ditch. The truck driver overcorrected and rolled the big rig onto its side with its tractor blocking both southbound lanes. The car crashed into the trailer, and the Compton man was pronounced dead on the scene. The truck driver, a 51-year old Wisconsin man, was cited by Illinois State Police for improper lane usage.
Though authorities have not determined precisely what caused the 18-wheeler to run off the roadway, it appears that the surviving family members have solid grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit in connection with this trucking accident. Not only can the Wisconsin man be named as a defendant, but his employer can also be held liable since trucking companies are responsible for the actions of their drivers in the state of Illinois. The plaintiffs could receive reimbursement for burial expenses, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care and companionship, and/or estimated future wages that the Compton man would have earned in his lifetime had the trucking accident never taken place.