Some of the most severe types of rear-end collisions are the ones that occur on freeways and interstates. That’s because not only are the speed limits on these roadways higher than on sidestreets, but also motorists often don’t expect to see slow (or stopped) traffic on these thoroughfares. And rear-end collisions are extremely dangerous if the crash is caused by an 18-wheeler.
When one such truck accident took place during the week before Thanksgiving, a man lost his life. On the afternoon of Friday, November 16, a tractor-trailer was traveling south on I-57 in Champaign County. Its driver failed to slow in time to avoid stopped traffic near Ludlow (several miles north of Rantoul) due to an earlier accident, and the big rig slammed into the back of a sedan, which was pushed into the back of a flatbed trailer on another 18-wheeler. The 23-year old driver of the car had to be extricated by first responders, but he subsequently succumbed to his injuries.
The truck driver, a 53-year old man from Lebanon, Missouri, was uninjured but was issued a citation for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. It appears that the trucker will be held fully responsible for the truck accident and the death of the 23-year old Chicago man. That means that the family of the sedan’s driver may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the hopes of collecting reimbursement for burial expenses, damages for loss of care or companionship and mental anguish, and lost wages that the victim would have earned in his lifetime. Not only would the 53-year old Missouri man be named as a defendant, but his employer would also be held liable as well.
It is more difficult for a large tractor-trailer to slow for stopped traffic on an interstate due to the size of the truck. But truck drivers must take that into consideration when operating their vehicles – or they may wind up killing another motorist.