One of the most potentially dangerous situations for pedestrians is when they try to cross a street at an intersection and a vehicle traveling in the same direction tries to turn right onto the street which the person is crossing. This can be problematic because traffic signals often indicate that both the pedestrian and the car have the right of way.
Fortunately, most passenger vehicles have good sightlines which allow drivers who are turning right to see pedestrians who are about to step off the curb and cross in front of them. So in the vast majority of cases, the drivers stop, let the pedestrians cross the street, and continue on their way without incident.
But pedestrians in the above scenario are in danger if a vehicle is built so that its driver cannot easily see who or what is off to the right – like in the case of a garbage truck.
This may have been the case in a tragic auto-pedestrian accident in Henry County on November 7. Shortly after 6:30am, an 81-year old woman was walking on a sidewalk south on Center Street and began to cross Main Street at the intersection in downtown Geneseo. At the same time, an Allied Services garbage truck was southbound on Center trying to turn right on Main street. The trash hauler struck the elderly woman, and she later died from her injuries in the hospital.
Geneseo Police and Illinois State Police are still investigating the accident, but one possible factor was the position of the 28-year old female driver of the Mack garbage truck. She was sitting high up in her driver’s seat with only a passenger door window and a side mirror on the right side of the truck, which makes it difficult to see pedestrians walking on the truck’s right side. It’s quite possible that the Allied driver didn’t see the elderly woman before the truck hit her.
Nevertheless, the heirs of the victim have strong grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit against both the driver and Allied Services.