One of the most difficult judgments to be made when it comes to driving in Illinois is the point when a person becomes too old to operate a motor vehicle. Since this age is different for everyone, it is up to each individual driver and his or her family members to figure out when a driver’s license must be surrendered. This decision usually involves frank and painful discussions between the driver in question and his or her loved ones.
One man lost his life last week while driving on a McHenry County roadway after being involved in an Illinois auto accident with an elderly driver. Early Friday morning around 6am, an 86-year old Lincolnshire man was driving his 2012 Lincoln MKZ 1998 Honda west on U.S. Route 20 (Grant Highway) in unincorporated Marengo Township. Near Johnson Road, he crossed into the eastbound lanes and struck a 1998 Honda head-on. The 63-year old Garden Prairie man driving the Honda was declared dead on the scene.
Based on the available information, it appears that the 86-year old driver will be held responsible for the head-on collision and the death of the Garden Prairie man. So should they choose to do so, the surviving family members of the Honda driver could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Lincolnshire man. It’s quite possible that a jury could order the elderly man to pay monetary damages for loss of care and companionship and/or mental anguish, as well as reimbursement for burial expenses and even compensation for whatever estimated wages the Garden Prairie man would have earned in the future had the head-on collision never occurred.
We hope that you never have an elderly relative cause a deadly motor vehicle collision. So if you are considering a conversation with someone whom you feel is too old to drive safely, perhaps this cautionary tale will help convince that person to give up his or her car keys – before something terrible happens.