We’ve talked before about the potential dangers presented by places where two rural highways intersect. In heavily-trafficked areas, such locations are often controlled by interchanges that allow traffic from all directions to proceed without stopping. But in less-traveled regions, the intersection of two highways may be controlled only by a stop sign. And at night, reduced visibility and/or inattention can be enough to cause a deadly auto accident.
Which is precisely what happened in rural Ogle County this week. On Wednesday night around 9:30pm, a Honda Accord driven by a 58-year old Roselle man was traveling west on Highway 64 about eight miles past Mount Morris. He came to the intersection of Highway 26, which is about four miles north of Polo. But according to the Ogle County Sheriff’s office, the man ran the stop sign and crashed into a southbound Acura Integra. The 22-year old man driving the Integra was airlifted to Rockford Memorial Hospital in serious condition, but he succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.
The Roselle man received citations for failure to stop at a stop sign and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Though the auto accident remains under investigation, it appears that the Accord driver will be held responsible for the crash and the death of the 22-year old man. If they choose to do so, the surviving family members of the Lanark man may filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the 58-year old man. Such a suit could permit the plaintiffs to be reimbursed for ambulance charges, hospital costs, and burial expenses. They could also receive compensation for wages the victim would have earned in his lifetime had he not been killed in the auto accident. Finally, a jury could choose to award damages related to loss of care and companionship and mental anguish.