If you live in the Chicagoland area, you may have heard about the deadly auto accident on Eisenhower Expressway this past weekend that killed two young mothers. The two women were in a minivan that had stalled in the center lane of traffic on the eastbound side of Interstate 290 in Forest Park when a sport utility vehicle struck it from behind. Well, it turns out there’s more to the story: the driver of the SUV was arrested on charges of driving under the influence.
The collision took place early Sunday morning shortly after 3:30am. The 30-year old driver and the 29-year old back seat passenger of the 1998 Ford Windstar minivan reportedly died on impact, and a 25-year old woman who was a front seat passenger was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It’s not precisely clear why the crash occurred, but Illinois State Police later arrested the 26-year old man who was driving the 2012 Dodge Durango after determining that he was impaired. The man was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death, aggravated driving under the influence of drugs resulting in death, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Even though the minivan was stalled in a lane of traffic on the expressway, it appears that the 26-year old man will be held at least primarily responsible for the accident because of the fact that he was charged with DUI. That means that the surviving family members of the two women who died have solid grounds to file wrongful death lawsuits against the man. These suits could allow the plaintiffs to collect reimbursement for burial expenses, as well as monetary damages for loss of care of the orphaned children and estimated future wages that the women would have earned in their lifetimes.