When an auto accident takes place in Illinois, the police, sheriff’s deputies, or other law enforcement personnel who arrive on the scene may issue citations, but usually won’t make an arrest. Notable exceptions include if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, if another crime was involved (like assault or road rage), or if the collision was caused intentionally. But after one multi-vehicle crash in Springfield this week, police did indeed take someone into custody – and it wasn’t for any of the abovementioned reasons.
Around 8am on Thursday morning, a sport utility vehicle was driving north on 11th Street and wanted to turn left on Jefferson Street (in front of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center) and head toward downtown. But the 36-year old woman driving the car was reportedly talking to a passenger when she entered the left turn lane, and proceeded to slam into the back of a pickup truck. That caused a chain-reaction rear-end collision involving two other cars.
The 54-year old female driver of the pickup truck had to be taken to a Springfield hospital with injuries. But Springfield police then proceeded to arrest the 36-year old woman on an outstanding warrant in Macoupin County. She was wanted for failing to appear in court on a charge of driving with a suspended license.
Regardless of how the SUV driver’s criminal case turns out, she will be held fully liable for the collision with the pickup and the injuries to the 54-year old woman. Should she choose to, the pickup driver could file a personal injury lawsuit against the 36-year old in the hopes of collecting reimbursement for medical expenses, compensation for lost wages from work absenteeism, and perhaps even monetary damages for pain and suffering. However, the defendant’s criminal record would probably not be relevant in any personal injury lawsuit proceedings.