Posted On: October 30, 2009

Fox Lake Toddler Injured in Lake County, Illinois Backover Accident is Still Recovering

The 4-year-old Fox Lake toddler who was seriously injured in a Lake County, Illinois car accident last August is still recovering. Skiler Wright was hit by a car that was backing out of a driveway. The little girl got caught under the gas tank, muffler, and bumper and was dragged 200 feet.

Skiler, who weighs just 24 pounds, sustained a skull injury, lost a significant portion of her scalp, and injured her shoulder in the Fox Lake pedestrian accident. She already has had eight surgeries.

The medical bills for her treatments are racking up. Skiler’s dad, an iron foundry worker, is on short-term medical leave and her mother is a pregnant, stay-at-home mom. Their health insurance coverage is only taking care of a portion of the little girl’s medical treatments.

This week, the driver of the vehicle that struck Skiler was charged with a traffic violation and a misdemeanor. Pamela Simone, a 36-year-old Fox Lake resident, posted bond after turning herself into the authorities.

Simone was driving on a revoked license at the time of the catastrophic Lake County, Illinois car crash. Previous to losing her license she was charged four times with driving on a suspended license.

2008 Children (Under age 15) Traffic Safety Facts (NHTSA):

• 1,347 child traffic deaths
• 193,000 child traffic injuries
• About 4 child traffic deaths/day
• 270 child pedestrian deaths
• 13,000 child pedestrian injuries
• 44 Illinois child pedestrian deaths

Drivers must exercise caution anytime they are operating a motor vehicle so that they don’t accidentally strike a pedestrian. Kids are especially at risk of sustaining serious injuries during an Illinois pedestrian accident, which is why a motorist needs to look out for them when backing out of driveways, crossing intersections, or driving through areas where there are schools.

Woman who struck, dragged toddler charged with misdemeanor, Daily Herald, October 29, 2009

Fox Lake toddler recovering after being dragged 200 feet by car, Daily Herald, October 22, 2009

Lake County, Illinois Car Accident Leaves 3-Year-Old in Critical Condition, Malman Law, August 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Backover Accidents, Kids and Cars/Consumers Union

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Posted On: October 29, 2009

Graduated Licensing Requirements Lower Number of Illinois Teen Car Crashes, Says Department of Transportation

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, the state’s new graduated licensing requirements appear to be working. Between January and October, 60 teen drivers died in Illinois car crashes. That’s a significant decrease from 2007, the last year before the GDL was enacted, when 127 teen drivers died.

Per Illinois’s GDL:

• Teen drivers must now have a learner’s permit for six month instead of just three.

• Teen drivers are not allowed to use cell phones while driving until they turn 19.

• Illinois’s graduated licensing program creates two young driver stages: the learner stage and the intermediate stage.

• The GDL prohibits both learner teen drivers and intermediate teen drivers from operating a motor vehicle after 10p during the week and after 11p on Fridays and Saturdays.

A teen who has just gotten a driver’s license can only have one teen passenger in the car with him or her during the first year.

Young drivers in general are known to be more easily distracted than older drivers. They also don’t have as much driving experience and are more likely to text while driving. Having a group of teens in the car can be distracting for the teen driver, who may forget to pay attention to the road and other vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 164 people died in Illinois car accidents involving a young driver last year. The NHTSA classifies people between the ages of 15 and 20 as young drivers.

80 of the victims were the young drivers. 39 of the people that died were riding in the young drivers’ cars. 37 of the Illinois traffic accident victims that died were riding in the other vehicles involved. 8 of the Illinois auto accident victims were not riding in or on a vehicle when the deadly teen driving accidents happen.

Teen driving law appears to work,, October 23, 2009

Young Drivers, Traffic Safety Facts 2008, NHTSA (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Graduated Driver License, Cyberdrive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

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Posted On: October 27, 2009

Two Illinois Car Accident Lawsuits Accuse Drivers of Failure to Obey Stop Sign

Two parents are suing driver Billie L. Varner for Illinois personal injury. Varner, allege Michael S. Overby and Tiffany Blomgren, ran a red light on June 27, 2008, striking the vehicle driven by Overby. Also riding in the car with Overby were his children, Alexandria and Paige Overby, and Blomgren’s children, Joshua and Michaela Blomgren. The four children are minors.

The plaintiffs contend that because of the Illinois car crash, Michael Overby became disabled and ill, sustained back injuries, and continues to experience pain. His vehicle was damaged during the traffic crash.

According to the Illinois injuries to minor lawsuit, the kids experienced disfigurement, disability, and pain and suffering. As a result of the plaintiffs' injuries, the car crash victims incurred medical expenses.

The Illinois car accident lawsuit claims Varner neglected to obey a traffic control device, was driving too fast, failed to maintain a proper lookout, and did not stop to avoid causing the motor vehicle collision. The plaintiffs are seeking over $50,000 from Varner.

In another Illinois car crash alleging failure to obey a stop sign, Amber N. Hosford says Shirley Hook failed to yield when she struck Hosford’s vehicle on February 24.

Hosford says that because of the traffic accident, she injured nerves, ligaments, bones, discs, and muscles in her body, back, and neck, as well as suffered from bruising. She contends her medical expenses are a result of her injuries. She also says she remains unable to tend to her regular responsibilities. Hosford is seeking over $50,000 from Hook.

Failure to Obey a Stop Sign
Not stopping or yielding at a stop sign can have catastrophic consequences for the vehicle occupants and pedestrians involved. Traffic signs exist to regulate traffic, warn of hazards, and prevent Illinois car accidents from happening. Failure to obey a traffic sign or a traffic light can be grounds for a Chicago car accident case if someone gets hurt or dies.

Driver failed to obey stop sign, say parents in suit, Madison Record, October 23, 2009

Alton accident is subject of suit, Madison Record, October 23, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

2009 Rules of the Road, CyberDriveIllinois

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Posted On: October 21, 2009

Chicago Car Accident Kills Pregnant Pedestrian and Injures Three Others

A baby boy was delivered prematurely at a hospital today, after his pregnant mother was killed in a Chicago car accident on the West Side. Kim Brown, 27, was walking with her friend and the latter’s two children at around 11:30am at Washington and Kostner when a van, which had just collided with another van, jumped the cub and struck them. The other woman, 30, and her two daughters, ages 1 and 3, were also injured.

Doctors say it will take 24 hours to determine the premature infant’s chances of survival. The baby sustained injuries during the Chicago car crash and is in “extremely critical” condition. Brown has five other children.

Police are investigating the catastrophic Chicago car accident, which, unfortunately, was not the only traffic accident today that caused injuries.

There people inside a North Shore tanning parlor got hurt when an 85-year-old driver accidentally stepped on the gas pedal and drove into Wilmette store.

Two of the injury victims were patrons who were struck by the vehicle. They were taken to Evanston Hospital. The third Chicago car accident victim, a Palm Beach Tan patron, got pinned between the wall and front counter.

The motorist was trying to park his car when the auto accident happened.

Pregnant woman dies in crash, baby survives, WGN, October 21, 2009

Illinois Department of Transportation


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Posted On: October 19, 2009

Preventing Chicago Car Accidents: National Teen Driver Safety Week Runs from October 18 – 24

Motor vehicle crashes continue to be the number one cause of teen deaths. National Teen Driver Safety Week was created to raise awareness about the dangers of teen driving and to promote solutions to prevent teen driving accidents from happening.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says teen motorists are involved in three to five times as many deadly car accidents as adult drivers. Distracted driving and drunk driving, both negligent acts, continue to be the leading factors in teen car crashes.

Teen driving crashes can lead to Chicago car accident lawsuits if one of the motorists involved contributed to causing the traffic crash through negligence, recklessness, or carelessness.

Today, Vlingo Corp. released new information about the distracted driving habits of teenagers. According to its Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report, 60% of teenagers say they read text messages when behind the steering wheel of a car. The report also noted that while 62% of teen drivers support making it illegal to text message while driving, many of them are in favor of technology that would make it safe to do so. Cell phone use is now the number one medium of communication for teenagers.

As we blogged about in an earlier post on our Chicago car accident attorney blog site, two other studies have found that teen drivers who either owned a vehicle or can use one whenever they want to were more likely to become involved in a motor vehicle crash than young drivers who had limited access to a vehicle and/or whose parents supervised their driving habits.

Clearly there are ways to prevent Chicago car accidents involving teen drivers from happening.

Vlingo Reveals New Data Regarding Teen Driver Distractions as Nation Prepares for National Teen Driver Safety Week, Reuters, October 19, 2009

National Teen Driver Safety Week, Keeping Young Drivers Safe

Related Web Resources:
Teen Driving: Safety Tips for Parents, Make It Better, October 2009

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Posted On: October 16, 2009

Park Ridge Car Accident Leaves Two Dead and Four Injured

Police have arrested one of the drivers involved in Sunday’s Park Ridge car accident with aggravated DUI. If convicted, Ibrahim Y. Yaro, a Chicago resident, could face up to 28 years in prison.

The deadly Cook County car crash in the Chicago suburb took place after 2am at Riverside Drive and Oakton Street. Killed in the Park Ridge traffic accident where Des Plaines resident Younan Chalabi, 25, and Morton Grove resident Christine Merza, 37. The two of them where passengers in the Mercedes that was involved in the Illinois car wreck with a Nissan.

According to the Nissan’s driver, she had a green light when her car drove into the intersection. Her auto hit the Mercedes’s passenger side. The drivers of the Nissan and the Mercedes and two other passengers were taken to hospitals for non-life threatening injuries.

Aggravated driving under the influence charges were filed in another Chicago area car accident. The Chicago car crash took place on the North Side on August 1 at around 3:25am at the Wilson and Ashland avenues intersection.

47-year-old Raquel Wright was charged with aggravated DUI causing the accidental death of Alexander Foamette, a 24-year-old motorcyclist. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office says that Foamette died from multiple injuries.

At the Chicago motorcycle accident site, Wright reportedly told police she didn’t see the motorcyclist. She accused the rider of red light running. After she failed a field sobriety test she was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for further testing.

Lisa Hofstra, the charge nurse at the Chicago hospital, says that the police officer that asked her to perform the blood test falsely arrested her when she told him that Wright need to be checked into the facility. Hofstra filed a Chicago police brutality lawsuit accusing the cop and the city of Chicago of civil rights violations.

DUI charges filed in fatal crash which sparked lawsuit against city, Chicago Sun-Times, October 15, 2009

Arrest made in fatal Park Ridge crash, Sun-Times, October 13, 2009

2 dead, 4 injured in Park Ridge accident, Chicago Sun-Times, October 11, 2009

Relate Web Resources:
DUI Conviction Penalties, Illinois State Police

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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Posted On: October 13, 2009

Are Electric Cars a Danger to Chicago Pedestrians?

There is growing concern among some groups that electric cars can be a danger to pedestrians because their near-silent sound may make them hard to hear. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is in the process of examining data about car accidents involving hybrid vehicles and pedestrians and will issue its final report in January 2010.

Blind people may be especially susceptible to pedestrian accidents involving Hybrid cars. This is one reason the The National Federation of the Blind is calling on carmakers to design plug-in electric autos and hybrids that emit some type of noise.

Last summer, a blind woman’s cane was run over and broken by what she believes was a hybrid auto. Considering that millions of hybrid and electric vehicles are expected on streets within the next few years, making sure that people can hear them approach could save lives and prevent car manufacturers from becoming defendants of auto products liability and wrongful death lawsuits. Deaf pedestrian may also be at greater risk of becoming involved in a Chicago car accident with a hybrid or electric car than people who have all of their senses intact.

Some carmakers are already attempting to address this possible hazard. According to, Nissan is trying to come up with a sound system that would automatically activate when the car is started and wouldn’t shut off until it was traveling at a speed of at least 12 mph.

With so many commuters and tourists in Chicago, pedestrian accidents occur more often than we would like to think. Even if you are not from the area and you were injured in a Chicago car accident, you may be entitled to Chicago personal injury recovery.

Addressing the danger of too-quiet electric cars, with a little help from Blade Runner, Smart Planet, September 21, 2009

Safety experts fear electric cars too quiet, Kansas City Star, September 25, 2009

Related Web Resources:

City of Chicago Pedestrian Program

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Posted On: October 9, 2009

Driver Accused of Causing Fatal South Side Chicago Car Crash Ran Red Light and had BAC of .148

A motorist faces two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated DUI over the deaths of a Chicago man and an East Chicago, Indiana resident. David Barbour’s BAC was .148% when he crashed his car into the vehicle carrying William Taylor, 27, and Lawrence Peterson, 28.

Police say that the deadly Chicago car accident happened at 59th and Ashland when Barbour ran a red light. Cook County prosecutors say that he was involved in another auto accident before the one that killed the two men. A third passenger who was riding with Taylor and Lawrence sustained critical injuries.

Barbour, 27, is accused of denying offers to drive him to his destination after he left a bar. Other charges against him include driving without insurance, negligent driving, and disregarding a traffic light.

Drunk driving continues to be a leading cause of car crashes in Illinois and throughout the US. Our Chicago car accident lawyers know how hard it is for surviving family members to deal with their loss while attempting to pick up the pieces of their lives. We are here to help our clients with their personal injury and wrongful death recovery.

Just this June, a 24-year-old woman died on Illinois 47 when Oak Lawn resident Joe Olvera crossed the northbound lane to strike their vehicle. Meagan Ahlstrom was 24. Her mother Rebecca sustained permanent injuries from the deadly Illinois car accident.

Olvera was charged with six counts of aggravated DUI. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to two counts. He will receive his sentence in December. Olvera faces a maximum 14 years in prison.

Olvera pleads guilty in fatal wreck, Morris Daily Herald, October 9, 2009

Two killed, two injured in Austin neighborhood crash, Chicago Sun-Times, October 3, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois DUI Conviction Penalties

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Posted On: October 6, 2009

Man Responsible for Crestwood Car Accident that Killed Chicago Man and Injured Several Others Had Previous Conviction for Reckless Homicide

ABC7 Chicago is reporting that the widow of a man who died last Thursday in a Crestwood multi-car crash is furious that the driver responsible for causing the deadly traffic collision was a parolee who already had a conviction for reckless homicide. Marian Anderson’s husband, Frederick Anderson, was 55.

On Sunday, Bruce Dozier again was charged with reckless homicide, in addition to aggravated driving under the influence of drugs, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Eight vehicles were involved in the chain-reaction collision on Cicero Avenue.

The deadly Chicago suburb car accident occurred early in the morning. His wife, Marion says she saw footage of the deadly auto crash on TV but didn’t know that her husband was involved in the collision until she received a call from his office.

Police say that Anderson died instantly.

Dozier, who has paroled in 2008 after serving two of his six-year prison sentence, received his first conviction for reckless homicide when he was involved in an auto accident that killed a 28-year-old driver. Anderson’s family is angry that Dozier was let out of jail early.

Chicago Car Accident Lawsuits
If someone you love died in a Chicago car accident and your injury case seems impossible to prove, do not despair. Our Chicago injury law firm is known for taking on and succeeding with Cook County car accident lawsuits that other local personal injury lawyers have turned down. Even if the driver was an uninsured motorist or a hit and run driver, there still may be a way to obtain financial recovery for you. There even may be other parties who should be held liable.

Suspect received bond Sunday, ABC Local, October 4, 2009

Parolee Charged In Fatal Crestwood Crash, My Fox Chicago, October 4, 2009

Crestwood crash leaves one dead, Southtown Star, October 2, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Cyber Drive Illinois

Reckless Homicide, Illinois General Assembly

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Posted On: October 1, 2009

Toyota Has Known About Deadly Floor Mats for Two Years, Reports New York Times

This week, Toyota, the largest automaker in the world, announced that it is going to recall 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles because the motor vehicle’s floor mats can cause accelerator to get stuck. That’s what investigators believe happened last month in the Lexus that Mark Saylor, his wife Cleofe, their teenager daughter Mahala, and his brother-in-law Chris Lastrella were riding.

During a 911 call made from the Lexus ES 350, one of the passengers exclaimed that the brakes did not appear to be working. All four vehicle occupants died after the auto, which was moving at high speeds, struck another vehicle, crashed through a fence, bounced off a dirt embankment, flew off the ground, and landed close to a riverbed before catching fire.

Toyota says that preliminary data from the tragic crash probe indicates that the all-weather floor mat on the driver’s may have been installed improperly, which allowed the mat to interfere with the accelerated pedal.

According to the federal government, five deaths, 17 injuries, and 13 car crashes have been linked to Toyota floor mats. Over 100 related complaints have been filed.

The New York Times is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Toyota have known about this floor mat problem for a couple years. As a matter of fact, Toyota recalled a number of all-weather floor mats in 2007.

The NHTSA’s investigation in 2007 found that there were problems with the Toyota accelerator pad’s design and the optional all-weather, rubber floor mats. According to a NHTSA test center, the accelerator pad’s design allows it to easily become entrapped in the floor mat’s groove if the mat isn’t secured correctly. The test center’s report went on to say that if the accelerator pad did get stuck, the driver’s ability to brake could be reduced significantly.

Car manufacturers can be held liable for auto products liability if someone is seriously injured or dies in a Chicago car accident because the automaker made a mistake and designed a vehicle or auto part with a defect that caused or contributed to the deadly Illinois auto crash.

Toyota Floor-Mat Problem Was Known Two Years Ago, NY Times, October 1, 2009

Toyota recall: 3.8 million cars with risky floor mats, CNN, September 30, 2009

Floor Mats the Focus of Deadly Lexus Crash, NBC San Diego, September 10, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Toyota Motor Corporation

Defects & Recalls, NHTSA

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