In Chicago and other urban areas of Illinois, drivers are forced to pay attention every single moment because of the large number of vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic signs and signals that are around them all the time. But on rural roads, these distractions are much fewer – which may cause drivers to let down their guard a little. Unfortunately, even a moment of inattention can have deadly consequences.
This was quite evident at a horrific crash scene in Peoria County this week. On Tuesday afternoon around 4pm (5/29/12), a sport utility vehicle was traveling west on Route 24 near Glasford, which is about 10 miles east of Canton. The SUV tried to make a left turn onto Banner Marsh Wildlife Preserve Road which leads to the waterfront. But it was struck by an oncoming garbage truck traveling east on Route 24. The auto accident was so horrendous that it took authorities three hours to extricate the bodies from the SUV.
Two 31-year old male passengers from Peoria were pronounced dead at the scene. The unidentified SUV driver was rushed to OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria with life-threatening injuries. The garbage truck driver was not hurt, nor was he cited with any traffic offenses. But the driver of the SUV was issued citations for failure to yield while making a left turn.
Based on the information given, it’s probable that the driver of the SUV will be held liable for the deaths of his two 31-year old passengers. As a result, the surviving family members of the victims have solid grounds for wrongful death lawsuits against the SUV driver. Such suits could result in settlements or jury verdicts which call for the defendant to pay damages for loss of care and companionship and/or pain and suffering, as well as compensate the families for unearned future wages.