It’s hard to fathom what convinces people that it’s okay to drink and drive. Some probably insist that they aren’t impaired at all. Others believe that they are just “buzzed” and that they’ll be fine if they are careful. Maybe others think that even if they are in an auto accident, the worst that will happen is that their car will get scratched up.
Unfortunately, there are reminders in Illinois practically every week that this way of thinking is false – and dangerous for others.
It could be this logic that claimed the life of a Springfield teacher over the weekend. Around 8:30pm Saturday evening, a 40-year old woman was in a car that was stopped at a traffic light at the intersection of Illinois 16 and Lerna Road about five miles east of Mattoon. According to police, a 25-year old male driver from Chicago failed to stop (or even slow down) at the light and slammed into one car, which was pushed into two other vehicles. A total of nine people were taken to area hospitals with injuries – but the 40-year old woman died on Sunday at an Urbana hospital. The man was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.
It’s highly likely that the Chicago man will be held solely responsible for the injuries to the vehicles’ occupants and the death of the Springfield woman. That means that the teacher’s surviving family members could choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against him. The plaintiffs may be able to collect reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship, and the estimated future wages that the woman would have earned as a teacher over the next quarter century or so until she retired. The injured victims could also file personal injury lawsuits against the Chicago man as well.