It’s easy to envision the potential carnage that can be caused by running a red light in Illinois. If you don’t have the right-of-way at an intersection, you could T-bone a vehicle or run right over a pedestrian or bicyclist – either of which could be fatal for the victims involved. But the next time you consider running a red light, you should also stop to think about the casualties or fatalities that can occur in your very own vehicle.
An incident earlier this month in Chicago illustrates this point. Shortly before 2:30am on the morning of Sunday, October 6, a 1999 Infiniti sedan was driving through the Woodlawn neighborhood about a quarter mile south of the University of Chicago Law School on the city’s Southwest Side. The car was traveling west on 63rd Street about 2/3 of a mile west of Jackson Park when it reportedly ran a red light at Woodlawn Avenue. A 2002 Nissan traveling south on Woodlawn struck the Infiniti in the rear, which caused the sedan to spin out of control and slam into a utility pole. Two men in the Infiniti, 22-year old passenger and the 20-year old driver, were both rushed to a nearby hospital. But an 18-year old female passenger in the vehicle succumbed to her injuries at a hospital a little over an hour after the auto accident.
Because he ran the red light, it’s pretty apparent that the driver of the Infiniti will be held responsible not only for the property damage to the utility pole and the Nissan, but also for the injury to the male passenger and the death of the woman. As a result, the 20-year old man could be named as a defendant in both a personal injury lawsuit filed by the male passenger and a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the surviving relatives of the woman.