We’ve told people time and time again on this blog to pay extra attention while driving and watch out for motorcycles, especially during the summer months when there are more of them on the roadways in Illinois. Not only is this sound advice for drivers of passenger vehicles, tractor-trailers, and recreational vehicles, but also for bus drivers as well.
Unfortunately, one CTA bus driver was not exercising caution in Chicago last week, and the result was a fatal motorcycle crash. On Friday morning shortly after 7:15am, the No. 143 CTA bus was traveling south on Michigan Avenue in the South Loop. It tried to make a left turn onto Balbo Avenue but did not see a motorcycle traveling north on Michigan. The bike struck the bus, and the 31-year old motorcyclist had to be rushed to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. But he died less than seven hours later.
The bus driver was cited for failing to yield the right of way, which meant that he probably tried to make a left turn on a solid green light rather than a protected arrow. That also means that the motorcyclist had a green light and therefore had the right of way. Although the motorcycle accident is still under investigation, it appears that the bus driver will be held liable for the CTA bus accident.
If they choose to do so, the surviving family members of the 31-year old victim could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the CTA and the bus driver, though they must do so within one year of the collision. The plaintiffs could receive compensation for estimated future wages that the man would have earned in his lifetime, as well as damages for loss of care or companionship and pain and suffering. They could also receive reimbursement from the defendants for burial and hospital expenses.