In the spring and summer, there tends to be a rise in the number of motorcycles driving around Illinois roadways. That’s largely because the weather is warm enough where this activity becomes more fun; plus, the scenery tends to be better than in the dead of winter. Unfortunately, the increase in motorcycle traffic often results in a jump in the prevalence of motorcycle accidents across the state – some of which turn out to be deadly.
Such was the case in Rockford this week. On Wednesday evening just before midnight, a 45-year old man was riding his motorcycle on 11th Street about a quarter mile north of Sandy Hollow Road. Near Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Academy, the bike was struck by a 2002 GMC Envoy. The rider was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter. The sport utility vehicle fled the scene, but was located on Thursday by Rockford Police – although they have yet to identify its driver.
Though the motorcycle accident is still under investigation, it’s likely that the driver of the SUV will eventually be deemed liable for the crash and the death of the 45-year old man. Obviously, it’s important that police located the SUV driver to find out exactly what transpired and/or to face justice for leaving the scene of the accident. But it’s also vital that the identity of the suspect be established so that the surviving relatives of the motorcyclist know against whom to file a wrongful death lawsuit should they wish to do so. This type of legal action would allow the family to receive reimbursement for hospital and burial costs, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship, and the estimated unearned future wages that the 45-year old man would have earned in his lifetime.