People in Illinois and across the U.S. are living significantly longer than they did even a generation ago. Thanks to modern medicine, better awareness of healthy habits, and a focus on physical activity among seniors, elderly individuals can enjoy life as much as any other age group. But even today’s seniors still have their lives cut short if they come into contact with a multi-ton vehicle.
That was the tragic story in the Macon County city of Decatur earlier this week. On Wednesday morning shortly before 7am, a 70-year old woman was walking near the intersection of Sattley Street and Steele Court. That’s near a mobile home park just off Jasper Road about a mile and a half north of U.S. Route 36, and three miles west of Lake Decatur. A garbage truck that was making its scheduled pickups struck the elderly woman and ran over her. She suffered fatal head trauma and other severe injuries, and was pronounced dead at the scene less than an hour and a half later.
The fatal garbage truck accident is still under investigation by the Decatur Police Department, although it should be noted that there are no traffic signs at the intersection where the pedestrian was struck. Still, it’s likely that the surviving family members of the elderly woman will have solid grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit not only against the truck’s driver, but also the waste management company that operates the vehicle (since Illinois law states that all employers are responsible for the on-the-job actions of their employees).
In this type of legal action, a jury could award monetary damages for pain and suffering as well as loss of care or companionship. The plaintiffs could also receive reimbursement for the burial expenses they incur after laying their loved one to rest.