Drunk drivers can potentially cause a hefty amount of mayhem and carnage. But in some situations, those odds are reduced based on the location where the DUI offender is driving (like on a rural road or a sparsely-traveled highway). Conversely, there are areas where drunk drivers can do more damage – like on a narrow street with no shoulders.
Not surprisingly, it was this type of setting in Chicago in which one person died and four others were hurt because of the actions of a suspected drunk driver. On Monday afternoon around 3pm, a 30-year old Blue Island man was driving a 2006 Hyundai Santa Fe westbound on West 115th Street about a quarter mile east of I-57. The SUV was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed when it struck a 1997 Ford Aerostar, which started a chain reaction car accident. The Ford Aerostar then collided with a 2002 Pontiac Bonneville. Then the driver somehow managed to wedge the Santa Fe in between a CTA bus and a beer truck, both of which had stopped and were in the process of unloading. Then the 30-year old tried to flee the scene of the accident, but was arrested a short time later.In addition to the Blue Island man, a total of four other people were hurt: the driver of the Aerostar, the CTA bus driver, a passenger on the bus, and a pedestrian who was struck by the beer truck which had lurched forward upon impact. But the most tragic aspect of this chain reaction crash was the death of the 45-year old beer truck worker. He was reportedly pinned against the truck by the SUV, and succumbed to his injuries less than an hour later at a nearby hospital. The Santa Fe driver was arrested on two counts of DUI and charged with various other traffic offenses including hit-and-run. In the future, he may very well be named as the defendant in personal injury lawsuits brought by those injured in the crash, as well as in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of the beer truck worker.