In theory, bridges should be some of the safest stretches of roadways in Illinois.
After all, they are usually straight and well-lit. There are no traffic signals to worry about. And most importantly, there are no driveways or intersections that other vehicles can suddenly emerge from (which is one of the leading causes of auto accidents).
However, it would be foolish to think that bridge accidents never occur.
Illinois residents were reminded of this fact earlier this week in Tazewell County. On Wednesday morning around 9:15am, an 82-year old man from Washington was driving a car west on Route 24 in East Peoria. As he drove onto the McClugage Bridge which leads to Peoria, he slammed into the back of another car that was stopped on the bridge. Two people were in the stopped vehicle – a 54-year old Peoria woman and a 36-year old Metamora woman – and they both had to be extricated from the car by first responders. The women and the man were all transported to a Peoria hospital with varying injuries.
Given that there is only one lane of traffic in each direction on the McClugage Bridge, it’s likely that the women’s car was blocking a large portion of the roadway when it was stopped. However, Illinois State Police gave a traffic citation to the Washington man for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
Therefore, it appears that the man will be held primarily or solely responsible for the crash and the injuries to the two women. That means that the women may choose to file personal injury lawsuits against the man who rear-ended them. These suits could allow the women to collect reimbursement for their medical bills, lost wages from work absenteeism due to the auto accident, and perhaps even monetary damages for pain and suffering.