Because tractor-trailers are so large and bulky, they tend to cause much more damage and injuries when they are involved in collisions than passenger vehicles do. That’s a big reason why there are traffic laws in Illinois that pertain specifically to 18-wheelers. Since they drive big rigs for a living, you would think that truck drivers would have a thorough knowledge of the rules of the road; especially those which apply to all vehicles, not just trucks. You know – like not driving while intoxicated.
Apparently, at least one truck driver didn’t know about or chose not to adhere to that basic law – and now, someone is dead because of it.
On Wednesday evening around 7pm, a Rockford man was driving a Freightliner truck south on Illinois Route 23 a few miles south of Genoa in DeKalb County. Just past Lloyd Road, the tractor-trailer crossed the center line and collided head-on with a Ford pickup truck driven by a 34-year old Sugar Grove man. That caused a chain-reaction accident involving two other northbound vehicles in rear-end collisions. The occupants of the other two vehicles, along with a passenger in the Ford, were all rushed to a Kishwaukee hospital. But the Ford’s driver was pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was subsequently arrested by the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department on charges of DUI, aggravated DUI, and making an improper lane usage.
The surviving family members of the Sugar Grove man have solid grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, which would likely name both the truck driver and his employer as defendants. A jury could award the plaintiffs for mental anguish and loss of care or companionship, reimbursement for burial expenses, and compensation for estimated future wages that the victim would have earned in his lifetime had the truck accident never occurred.