It’s not surprising to learn that the majority of auto accidents involving people who are driving under the influence occur during the nighttime and overnight hours on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Illinois (and across the nation). That’s because most bars, restaurants, and clubs serve the most drinks at these times; and people who take drugs tend to congregate during these hours. So it’s somewhat unusual to hear of a DUI-related crash that occurs in the mid-morning hours during the week.
Precisely when school buses were taking children to school, in fact.
The incident in question occurred in Winnebago County around 8:30am on August 21. A school bus was traveling west on Rockton Road a couple miles west of the village of Rockton when a 23-year old Rockford woman driving an eastbound car struck the bus, causing it to turn over onto its side prior to Forest Preserve Road. The bus driver and all five children aboard the bus had to be taken to Rockford hospitals with injuries that were not life-threatening. Police later arrested the 23-year old on charges of aggravated driving under the influence after discovering that she was high on drugs at the time of the auto accident.
The parents of the injured kids don’t have to wait until the DUI suspect’s trial or sentencing to file personal injury lawsuits on behalf of their children against the Rockford woman. These suits could force the woman to pay reimbursement for medical costs, including ambulance charges, treatment and medication expenses, and physical therapy sessions if necessary. A jury could also award monetary damages for pain and suffering to the plaintiffs. And if the 23-year old is convicted of DUI, she may also have to pay punitive damages to the plaintiffs as well. (The bus driver’s injury-related costs will likely be handled through a worker’s compensation policy.)