Posted On: April 30, 2010

Chicago Car Accident Injures 6-Year-Old Pedestrian

Ashton Williams was crossing the street with his dad and sister on South Michigan Avenue when he was hit by a van going the wrong direction on the one-way street. Williams, age 6, sustained a concussion, bruises, cuts, and a stiff neck when he was thrown some 15 feet during the Chicago, Illinois car accident. The driver of the van then left the South Side motor vehicle crash site.

According to his father, Mark, the van appeared to come from nowhere. He says that the driver was speeding.

Chicago, Illinois Wrong-Way Driving Accidents
Wrong-way driving is a leading cause of car accidents. The chance that a wrong-way driver will cause a deadly head-on crash is high. Pedestrian accidents can also happen—especially as the victims may not be looking for a vehicle coming from that direction.

Common wrong-way driving situations:
• A motorist goes the wrong way down a one-way street
• Driving in the wrong direction up a lane
• Entering the freeway through an exit or exiting a highway through the entrance

Wrong-way driving accidents are preventable. Distracted driving, drunk driving, and failure to obey traffic signs are common causes of wrong-way driving. Traumatic brain injuries, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other serious injuries can occur because a driver was careless or reckless and drove the wrong way.

6-year-old injured in South Side hit-and-run, ABC Local, April 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Hit-And-Run Victims Now Eligible For Compensation, CBS2Chicago, October 8, 2009

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Posted On: April 27, 2010

High-Speed Police Car Chases Result in Deaths of Innocent Bystanders

According to a USA Today review, 1/3rd of those killed in high-speed police chases are innocent bystanders. While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 360 people are killed every year during police pursuits, those who support tougher chase policies say the actual number of deaths are higher.

One reason for this is that there isn’t a mandatory reporting system to log the deaths that occur during police chases. Also, innocent bystanders killed after a cop has stopped chasing a suspect aren’t counted in the fatality numbers.

According to University of South Carolina professor of criminology Geoffrey Alpert, 35-40% of all police pursuits result in car accidents. Alpert notes that implementing restrictive chase polices has been known to decrease the number of police pursuits and the deaths that can result.

Chicago Car Accidents
Our Chicago car crash lawyers work with clients in Cook County, Lake County, Will County, and DuPage County that have been injured in all kinds of traffic accidents. Just because a police officer is doing his/her job by pursuing a suspect doesn’t mean that he or she can place other people’s lives at risk by driving at speeds significantly higher than the posted speed limit or disobeying traffic signals or striking vehicles and pedestrians in their way. Police officers are also supposed to refrain from causing accident injuries to the suspect(s) that are the object of the pursuit.

Deaths lead police to question high-speed chase policies, USA Today, April 23, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Police Pursuits: Facts, Policies, and Technologies (PDF)

Chicago Police Department

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Posted On: April 22, 2010

12-Year-Old Fatally Struck During Oak Lawn Bicycle Accident

12-year-old Kelly Ryan died on Sunday night after he was hit by a pickup truck on the Southwest Side. Ryan, who was riding his bicycle, had just entered a crosswalk on Narragansett Avenue when a Ford F-250 hit him.

The Cook County bicycle accident occurred at around 8:25 pm. The driver of the vehicle that struck Ryan, 48-year-old driver Keith Kostush, received traffic citations, including one for negligent driving.

Child Bicycle Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 716 pedalcyclist deaths and 52,000 injuries last year, riders under the age of 16 made up 13% of fatalities and 25% of injuries. 87% of those who died where male. These figures are not surprising, considering that child bicycle injuries is the leading type of kid injury involving recreational sports that results in emergency room visits each year. About 1/3rd of the children hospitalized for their bicycle injuries sustained a traumatic brain injury from the crash.

While bicyclist errors and carelessness is a common cause of Cook County bicycle crashes, there are also many bicycle accidents that occur because a driver was distracted, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, failed to obey traffic signs, lost control of the vehicle, or behaved negligently in otherwise.

Kids are prone to serious injuries in any kind of traffic crash. But for child cyclists who may only have the protection of a helmet to cushion the blow that comes with being hit by a car, a truck, a bus, a motorcycle, or a van, the injuries are often catastrophic if not fatal.

Boy, 12, killed riding bike on Southwest Side, Chicago Breaking News, April 10, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Kids' Bike Injuries Are Major Public Health Concern, Science Daily, October 18, 2007

Bicyclists and Other Cyclists, NHTSA, (PDF)

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Posted On: April 20, 2010

Driver Charged in Chicago Car Crash Involving UPS Semi-Truck That Claimed Passenger’s Life

Adrian Tellez has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor driving while under the influence, operating a motor vehicle without insurance, and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident in the catastrophic Chicago car crash that claimed the life of his passenger, 25-year-old Rafael Lopez.

The Cook County auto accident happened at around 2:30 am on April 1 on the Near West Side. Tellez was driving a 2005 Ford Taurus that collided with a UPS semi-truck, which was trying to turn left. According to police, the 21-year-old’s BAC was .16, which is two times the legal driving limit.

The Chicago Fire Department was called to the traffic crash site to extricate some of the auto accident victims. Five people were taken to hospitals—two of them in serious to critical condition.

According to autopsy results, Lopez’s death was caused by multiple injuries from an auto hitting a truck. His death was ruled an accident.

Chicago Drunk Driving Accidents
Our Chicago car accident lawyers cannot stress enough the dangers of driving drunk and the degree of injury risk that this irresponsible activity poses for people. Drunk driving is a senseless and unnecessary way to get hurt, destroy one’s life, and accidentally inflict great harm, pain, and suffering on others.

Just last week, four women were taken to local hospitals after their car drove into a business in a shopping plaza. The car’s driver, 24-year-old Sharlie Shaffer, sustained serious injuries. She is charged with drunk driving.

On March 31, a Wayne man pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and drunk driving in the June 2009 St. Charles, Illinois car accident that claimed the life of West Chicago resident Cameron Godee, age 18. The driver, Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso, is facing a maximum of 14 years in prison.

The 19-year-old lost control of his car while driving his SUV at a speed of approximately 77 mph in a 25 mph zone at around 3:20 AM. The vehicle struck two trees and a mailbox.

Lorusso’s BAC was nearly three times the legal limit. Two passengers riding in the backseat were also injured. Godee and Lorusso had been best friends since they were third graders.

Four women hurt when drunk driver crashes into business, WBBM780, April 14, 2010

Man pleads guilty in crash that killed best friend, Chicago Tribune, March 31, 2010

Motorist twice the legal limit in fatal Near West Side wreck: cops, Sun-Times, April 6, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Influenced Driving, Illinois State Police

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Posted On: April 15, 2010

$3 Million Chicago Car Accident Settlement for Woman Who Sustained Permanent Traumatic Brain Injury During Police Pursuit

Per the Chicago traumatic brain injury settlement advanced by a City Council committee, Regina Valera is to receive $3 million for her Cook County personal injuries. Valera sustained a TBI, kidney contusion, fractured her collarbone, and lacerated her liver on August 10, 2004, after she was hit by a stolen GMC van that ran a red light while Chicago Police followed it during an unauthorized pursuit.

Valera, then 17, was thrown about 40 feet from her vehicle during the Chicago car accident. She was placed in an induced coma for 48 hours and was in the hospital for more than two weeks. Now, she can only work menial jobs.

Under Chicago police policy, cops must obtain supervisory approval before engaging in a pursuit. They also must stop chasing the suspect if he/she starts disregarding traffic control signals. The cops that were involved in the police chase that injured Valera never told their supervisors that they were chasing a suspect. Their vehicle was moving at about 55 mph in a 25 mph zone.

The cops have denied that they were involved in an unauthorized pursuit. However, a van passenger and a witness said the police chase went on for eight blocks.

If you or someone you have was injured in a police pursuit, you should speak with a Chicago injury lawyer immediately. Cops must follow specific procedures when chasing a suspect and they are not allowed to endanger the suspect or anyone else.

Sustaining any kind of injury during a Chicago car crash can be difficult. There are likely medical expenses, recovery costs, lost wages, property damage, and other losses and costs. If your injury was a catastrophic one, such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, the expenses may be astronomical. It is important that the parties responsible for your traumatic injuries be held liable.

Committee OKs $3 million to settle lawsuit by woman injured by police chase, Chicago Sun-TImes, April 12, 2010

Chicago aldermen approve $3 million settlement in police chase crash, Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Chicago Police Department

Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Guide, Center for Neuro Skills

Traumatic Brain Injury, Mayo Clinic

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Posted On: April 12, 2010

Alcohol May Have Been Factor in Barrington Hills Car Accident that Killed Two People

Drunk driving is a senseless way to die and/or cause serious injuries to others. Unfortunately, thousands of people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year.

Just last Thursday, a Lake County, Illinois car accident on Route 68 in Barrington Hills claimed the lives of two people. Police believe alcohol may have been a factor.

According to authorities, at around 4:15 pm, a 2004 Nissan Maxima headed east on Route 67 crossed the solid yellow line and drove head-on into a 2002 Buick LeSabre. Both the driver of the Nissan, 24-year-old North Aurora resident Oscar Arce, and the driver of the Buick, 84-year-old Sarah Yaple, were pronounced dead at a Hoffman Estates hospital. Arce’s older Brother, 25-year-old Eloy Arce, was listed in fair condition on Thursday night. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, Arce and Yaple both died from multiple car accident injuries.

Court records report that Oscar Arce had a record of previous driving offenses, including disregarding a traffic control device, failure to obey a stop sign, squealing/screeching tires, and failure to display/carry a license.

On Saturday, three people were injured and one person was killed in a Crystal Lake car accident. Drunk driving also may have been a contributing factor.

The catastrophic Illinois car crash happened right before midnight when the driver of a 2001 Pontiac Trans Am lost control of his vehicle, crashing into a 1994 Jeep Cherokee. Both vehicles ended going off the road.

24-year-old Schaumburg resident Vanessa Toby died from her injuries. Three people were transported to hospitals. The Jeep’s driver and a passenger were examined at the crash site before they were released.

1 killed, 3 hurt in Crystal Lake crash, Chicago Tribune, April 11, 2010

84-year-old crash victim 'did everything for other people', Daily Herald, April 9, 2010

Two dead in Barrington Hills alcohol-fueled crash, Pioneer Local, April 9, 2010

2 dead, 1 injured in Barrington Hills crash, ABC Local, April 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Drunk Driving, Chicago Tribune, April 12, 2010

Impaired Driving, CDC

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Posted On: April 9, 2010

Chicago Bus Accident Lawsuit Sues CTA for Cook County Wrongful Death After Man Falls Under Commercial Carrier

The family of James Minter is suing the Chicago Transit Authority for his Cook County bus accident death. Minter, 53, was fatally injured on March 18 after he fell beneath a No. 9/Ashland bus that was driving away from Ashland Avenue’s southwest corner as the stop light turned green. He was hit by the commercial bus’s rear tires.

According to the Chicago wrongful death lawsuit, the bus driver failed to check the mirror, did not make sure that Minter was on the curb, and did not stop after the pedestrian fell under the bus. He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.

According to an autopsy report, Minter’s death from multiple injuries during a Chicago pedestrian accident involving a bus was accidental.

Bus Accidents
Hundreds of people are killed in bus crashes each year while thousands of others are injured. Bus passengers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and the occupants of other vehicles are among those that can get hurt. Buses are usually owned by school districts, government entities, or private companies.

Illinois’ Common Carrier Liability Act holds public transportation vehicles and their operators accountable for providing clients the highest degree of safety, even more so than vehicles owned by transportation companies and private operators. As a Cook County bus accident victim, you may have grounds for a Chicago injury case.

On March 18, the widow of Wesley Krueger sued Megabus and driver Shervyle Pruitt for wrongful death. Krueger, a South Holland resident, died during a Chicago pedestrian accident when he was hit by a Megabus while in a crosswalk.

Linda Krueger claims that the bus driver committed six traffic violations, including failure to yield the right of way. She says his actions caused her husband’s death. Pruitt, 45, received citations for failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk and reckless driving. Linda is seeking unspecified damages.

Family files suit in fatal bus accident, Chicago Breaking News, March 18, 2010

Autopsy Rules Death of Man Fatally Pinned Under CTA Bus an Accidental,, March 19, 2010

Suit filed by family of man killed by CTA bus, Chicago Breaking News, March 30, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Chicago Transit Authority

Illinois’ Common Carrier Liability Act

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