March 24, 2011

Fatal Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident on I-55 Involved Alleged Drunk Driver

Police are charging Fernando Almaraz, 40, with aggravated drunk driving in the Chicago car crash that killed Enrique Lopez, 32, on March 17. Lopez, whose vehicle was experiencing mechanical problems, was standing on the side of the road on the I-55 (Stevenson) Expressway and waiting for a tow truck when he was struck by a pickup truck around 10:17 pm. The truck then left the Cook County auto accident scene.

According to one witness, the driver of the pickup cross the solid white “fog line” and hit Lopez. The pickup truck was discovered soon after in the 5400 block of South Ellis Avenue, where Almaraz is a resident.

The officers who apprehended him say that they smelled alcohol on his breath and there was an open can of alcohol in the car. They also said that his speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy and bloodshot. Per the police report, Almaraz failed all field sobriety tests and was taken into custody. His blood-alcohol content was reportedly twice the legal limit, and he admitted to drinking before the Chicago pedestrian accident happened.

Autopsy results indicate that Lopez died of multiple injuries from being hit by a car.

Drunk Driving
Every year, lives are lost and families are destroyed because there were people who drove drunk. Although drunk people usually are not fully in control of their faculties and are known to make poor decisions, this does not exempt them from responsibility or liability for their actions—especially if serious Chicago injuries or wrongful death result. Also, filing a Chicago car accident case or wrongful death lawsuit can allow you to recover the costs incurred from medical bills, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other damages suffered.

Prosecutors: Driver in fatal Stevenson crash was drunk, Chicago Tribune, March 19, 2011

Motorist charged with DUI in fatal hit-and-run, Sun-Times, March 19, 2011

Related Web Resources:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Stop Impaired Driving, NHTSA

More Blog Posts:
Mother of Chicago Car Accident Victim Killed Last Thanksgiving Files Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, November 24, 2010

Bolingbrook, Illinois Car Accident Kills Sleeping Chicago Woman as SUV Crashes into Her Bedroom, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, November 16, 2010

Drunk Drivers Can Cause Catastrophic Chicago Car Accident Injuries, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, August 27, 2010

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March 16, 2011

76-Year-Old Pedestrian Killed in Arlington Heights Car Accident in Parking Lot

Ramona A. Zentefis, a 76-year-old Des Plaines resident, died this morning when she was struck by a car during an Arlington Heights pedestrian accident in the Northwest Community Hospital’s parking garage. The driver of the minivan that struck her is 59-year-old Mount Prospect resident.

At the time of the Cook County car accident, the van was going up the first floor parking garage ramp when it hit Zentefis, who was in a pedestrian crosswalk. Paramedics and hospital staffers treated the elderly pedestrian, while others worked to free her from under the van. She was pronounced dead in the hospital emergency room. Police are investigating the incident.

Parking Lot Accidents
Our Chicago car accident lawyers are sorry to have to report that parking lots can be a dangerous place for pedestrians. Common causes of parking lot pedestrian accidents:

• Speeding
• Failure to watch out for pedestrians
• Backover accidents
• Distracted driving
• Texting or talking on the phone while driving
• Failure to obey traffic signs
• Failure to yield
• Aggressive driving, such as when drivers race each other to grab the empty spot
• Inadequately designed walkways
• Wheel stops
• Poor lighting
• Potholes
• Uneven surfaces
• Improperly marked handicap zone
• Blind spots

Pedestrian Safety
Just because you are in a parking lot doesn’t mean you aren't at risk of become the victim of a Chicago pedestrian accident. Watch out for cars, cross in designated areas, and don’t assume that a driver backing out of a parking lot has seen you.

Ramona A. Zentefis Killed by Minivan in Crosswalk at Hospital Parking Garage, The Cardinal, March 16, 2011

Woman struck, killed in hospital lot, Trib Local, March 16, 2011

Related Web Resources:
America Walks

Pedestrian Statistics, Cyber Drive Illinois

Related Web Resources:
Aurora, Illinois Car Accident Injures One Pedestrian While Killing Another, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, October 29, 2010

Cook County Cell Phone Accident Causes Serious Injuries to Berwyn Pedestrian, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, September 24, 2010

Champaign, Illinois Teenager Was Texting When He Fatally Struck Chicago Pedestrian with His Car, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys Blog, July 26, 2010

Continue reading "76-Year-Old Pedestrian Killed in Arlington Heights Car Accident in Parking Lot" »

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January 10, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Injures Two Teenagers

Two teens sustained injuries on Wednesday when they were hit in a Chicago pedestrian by a car that had driven onto the sidewalk where they were standing. The vehicle then proceeded to crash into a restaurant.

The 15-year-old girl who was struck broke her ankle while the 16-year-old girl sustained minor injuries. Also injured in the Chicago car crash was 61-year-old George Corso, who was driving the car that hit the two teens. Corso has been ticketed for negligent driving.

In other recent Cook County traffic crash news, a 70-year-old man was killed in a Chicago pedestrian accident on December 27, 2010. At the time of the Chicago car accident, the victim, Raymond Veloz, was exchanging information with another motorist over another accident that had just happened. The driver of the third vehicle was cited for failing to avoid hitting a pedestrian. The two drivers who had been involved in separate collisions with Veloz said that the sun had temporarily made it difficult for them to see the road.

Just the day before, 25-year-old Angeline De Leon was killed when the car she was riding in struck a tree in Chicago’s Medical Village neighborhood. Also injured in the Chicago car accident were the driver, 23-year-old Brandon Reed, and a four-year-old boy. Reed, who was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, has since been charged with a misdemeanor DUI. He also received a ticket for driving on a revoked license. More charges may be pending.

Lane Tech students hit by car crossing street, Sun-Times, January 6, 2011

Driver in fatal crash charged with DUI, Chicago Tribune, December 29, 2010

Man killed in South Chicago crash, Chicago Breaking News, December 27, 2010

Related Web Resources:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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December 14, 2010

Toddlers Seriously Injured in Fatal Lake County Car Crash Upgraded to Stable Condition

According to officials, the medical conditions of brothers Calvin Jackson Jr., 3, and Clarence Jackson, 2, have been upgraded from serious to stable. The two toddlers were flown to a Park Ridge hospital after the 1995 Jeep Cherokee that they were riding in was involved in a catastrophic Lake County, Illinois car accident with another vehicle on Monday. Police say that the driver of the other vehicle, Adeliata Espinoza, may have run a red light.

The boys were reportedly not in child safety seats at the time of the Lake County, Illinois auto accident and they were thrown from the vehicle. Their dad, Calvin Jackson, Sr., was in the car with the boys and not wearing a seat belt. The 26-year-old East Chicago resident died from massive head injuries.

Also injured in the traffic collision were 18-year-old Houston Neil, who was driving the vehicle that the Jacksons were in, and 17-year-old Laquaysha Johnson. Both of their medical conditions have been updated to stable. Espinoza, 46, and her 2-year-old daughter were treated at the Lake County accident site.

In other recent Illinois car accident news, a Cook County pedestrian accident claimed the life of Chicago resident Sonia Dorado early Sunday evening. The 61-year-old woman was pronounced dead at a Park Ridge hospital later that night.

Police have charged Des Plaines resident Robert Park with leaving the scene of a crash. The 56-year-old motorist also received a citation for driving on a suspended license. Police say that Park may have been suffering from a diabetic reaction at the time. Tests showed that he had no drugs or alcohol in his system.

Traffic Violations Can Cause Illinois Car Accidents
Traffic violations are not just against the law, they can cause serious accidents. Failure to stop at red light or stop sign, yield the right of way, stop at a pedestrian crossing, and other violations can prove fatal for those involved.

Tot brothers recovering from crash in Avon Township, Lake County News-Sun, December 14, 2010

Suspect charged in hit-and-run death of Chicago woman in Niles, PioneerLocal, December 14, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cyber Drive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

Continue reading "Toddlers Seriously Injured in Fatal Lake County Car Crash Upgraded to Stable Condition" »

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December 8, 2010

89-Year-Old Cook County Pedestrian Killed in Palos Park Car Accident Involving Neighbor’s Minivan

89-year-old Mary Infantino is dead from fatal injuries she sustained in a Palos Park pedestrian accident. Infantino was walking to her mailbox on Friday when she was hit by her neighbor’s Dodge Caravan. Police say that the 80-year-old driver of the minivan did not see his elderly neighbor. Infantino was found underneath the vehicle.

Autopsy results confirm that she died from multiple injuries from a vehicle hitting a pedestrian. Police and the Palos Area Reconstruction Team are trying to determine what happened.

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
Infantino’s Palos Park car accident death occurred just a few days before the start of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, which takes place this week through December 10. With so many Americans reaching retirement age and living longer lives, there are now more elderly drivers on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, older drivers were involved in 5,569 deadly traffic crashes in 2008—that’s 11% of all the driving deaths that year. That said, in general older drivers do have better safety records than motorists who belong to other age groups. They also tend to be more careful, are more experienced than their younger counterparts, and drive less miles.

However, there continues to be growing concern that elderly seniors can bring with them a higher crash risk should their vision start to fade, reflexes slow down, hearing deteriorate, or health issues force them to take medication.

Elderly pedestrians are also at higher risk than younger adults of getting injured during a traffic crash. Again, the symptoms of aging, in addition to physical ailments that may slow down an elderly senior, can make him/her more susceptible to getting hit by a driver during a Chicago pedestrian accident.

Minivan fatally strikes woman, Southtown Star, December 5, 2010

AAA emphasizes importance of helping keep senior drivers safe and mobile, KXLF, December 8, 2010

Older Driver Safety Week is here, Inside Nova, December 5, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Elderly Pedestrians, Walking Info

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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December 3, 2010

A Chicago Car Accident Caused by a Drowsy Driver Can Be Grounds for Cook County Personal Injury Case

If you are like most people, you’ve inevitably gotten in the driver’s seat while feeling exhausted. But did you know that some safety experts consider driving while drowsy to be as dangerous as driving while drunk? If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago car accident because the other driver feel asleep at the wheel, you may have grounds for a Cook County injury case.

According to a recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, one in six fatal crashes involve a drowsy driver. Meantime, the National Highway Traffic Safety Foundation reports that drowsy driving causes 71,000 injuries, 1,1500 deaths, and over 100,000 auto accidents annually.

Also, per the study:
• Drivers under the age of 25 are almost twice as likely as drivers in the age 40 to 59 group to be involved in a drowsy driving accident.
• In approximately 57% of drowsy driving accidents, the driver’s vehicle ended up off the road or in other lanes.
• Over 55% of drivers who admitted to falling asleep at the wheel said this happened on a high-speed divided highway.
• Over 59% of drivers who said they’ve fallen asleep while operating a vehicle in the last year said they had only been driving for less than an hour when it happened.
• Over one in four drivers who fell asleep while driving said they did so during the day between the hours of noon and 5pm.

Drowsy driving can lead to problems focusing, driver inattention, short-term memory lapses, lane driving, swerving, tailgating, missed traffic signs and exits, aggressiveness, vision impairment, slowed reaction times, and a delayed ability to process information. Sound familiar? That is because symptoms and effects of drowsiness are similar to those of being drunk.

It takes just a few seconds for a deadly Chicago car accident to happen. This means that shutting one's eyes for just a few seconds of rest could prove fatal. Many drowsy drivers fall asleep and don’t even realize it.

Drowsy Driving Prevention Week® Highlights Prevalent and Preventable Accidents, National Sleep Foundation

Related Web Resources:
Drowsy Driving

Drowsy Driving, NHTSA

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

Continue reading "A Chicago Car Accident Caused by a Drowsy Driver Can Be Grounds for Cook County Personal Injury Case" »

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November 24, 2010

Mother of Chicago Car Accident Victim Killed Last Thanksgiving Files Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A year after Oak Lawn pedestrian Elias Nunez was fatally struck by a drunk driver last Thanksgiving, his mother is suing motorist Anthony Morales for Chicago wrongful death.

The tragic Cook County pedestrian accident happened at around 3am while Nunez was attempting to push his auto, which had become disabled. Four others suffered injuries. Morales has been charged with felony aggravated drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Nunez’s mother, Theresa Nunez-Wescott, is also suing The Club, the bar that served Morales alcohol prior to the tragic Chicago car accident, and its owners for her son’s wrongful death.

Driving Safely On Thanksgiving
The National Safety Commission says that Thanksgiving weekend is considered the most dangerous holiday of the year for motorists and can result in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths. 389 people died during Thanksgiving 2008. 12 people were killed in Illinois traffic crashes over the Thanksgiving holiday last year. Nine of the victims were not using seatbelts. Five of the deaths were drunk driver-related.

In addition to heavier traffic and the compulsion to speed that can arise when people are headed on a road trip during a long weekend, there may be motorists who have had too much to drink or may be feeling drowsy after eating a heavy turkey dinner who may find themselves unable to drive safely.

A Few Safe Driving Tips for the Holiday:
• Use a seatbelt
• Don’t drive drunk
• Don’t speed
• Don’t drive while drowsy
• Don’t text or talk on the phone
• Pay attention to the road
• Adjust your driving to the traffic and road conditions

Lawsuit filed in Oak Lawn man's crash death, Southtown Star, November 24, 2010

Area police warn drivers to be safe this holiday, Rockford Register Star, November 23, 2010

Chicago-Area Car Accidents Over Thanksgiving Weekend Kill at least Six and Injure Several Others, Chicago Car Accident Attorneys, December 11, 2009

Related Web Resources:


Holiday driving tips to help hit the road, CNN, November 23, 2010

Continue reading "Mother of Chicago Car Accident Victim Killed Last Thanksgiving Files Cook County Wrongful Death Lawsuit" »

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October 29, 2010

Aurora, Illinois Car Accident Injures One Pedestrian While Killing Another

A deadly Aurora, Illinois pedestrian accident has killed a 22-year-old Cicero woman. According to reports, Doreen L. Cardenas was standing outside her parked car on early Monday when a van first struck her car before hitting her and Pedro A. Navarro, the North Aurora man who was with her.

The van’s driver, 30-year-old Lee Roy Patters, fled the Illinois traffic crash site, and it was a bystander who discovered the two injured pedestrians.

Patters eventually turned himself in to police. He has now been charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid the accident, leaving the scene where a person was injured, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident involving death.

In other Illinois accident news, a woman sustained serious injuries when she was impaled by a tree limb that came crashing through her vehicle’s windshield. The Lake County, Illinois traffic crash occurred in Lindenhurst in Tuesday when the branch fell 70 feet.

The victim, Lake Villa teacher Helen Miller, suffered injuries to her abdomen. While the tree limb had punctured muscle and fat, if fortunately missed her stomach and lung.

With the weather getting colder and winds more than likely to pick up, property owners must make sure that their trees are in good health and that they do not pose an injury risk to pedestrians or motor vehicle occupants. Failure to remove or remedy a hazard on a premise can be grounds for a Chicago injury case.

Chicago Car Accidents
Our Chicago, Illinois car accident law firm wants to remind you that if you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic crash, it is a very good idea to start exploring your legal options right away. Dealing with such issues may likely be the last thing on your mind as you cope with your injuries or the loss of your loved one and all the ramifications that such events can have on one’s life.

Man charged in fatal North Aurora hit-run, Chicago Breaking News, October 25, 2010

Woman Impaled by Wind-Blown Branch, NBC Chicago, October 26, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Department of Transportation

Car Accidents, Justia

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September 24, 2010

Cook County Cell Phone Accident Causes Serious Injuries to Berwyn Pedestrian

A Berwyn man is in the hospital with after he was hit by a car on Monday. David Paraiso, 52, was crossing the street when the Cook County pedestrian accident happened. Paraiso broke his shin, fractured his collarbone, and sustained scalp injuries.

According to police, the driver of the vehicle that struck Paraiso, 20-year-old Margaret Mary Vivanco, was distracted driving at the time. Witnesses say that she was talking on a cell phone when she ran a red light, struck a car, and then hit Paraiso. Vivanco is charged with aggravated reckless driving.

2009 US Distracted Driving Accident Facts (NHTSA):
• 5,474 distracted driving accident-related deaths.
• Cell phones were a factor in 995 of the fatalities.
• 448,000 injuries.
• Cell phone use was a factor in 24,000 of the injuries.
• The 20 and under age group has the greatest proportion of distracted drivers.
• Of the motorists involved in deadly distracted driving crashes, drivers in their 30’s belonged to the group most likely to have been using cell phones.

Cell phone use and texting are two of the most deadly forms of distracted driving activities. Unfortunately, many people continue to text and talk on handheld cellular phones while driving, which increases their chances of being involved in a car crash and causing injuries or deaths.

This week, the US Department of Transportation kicked off its 2nd Distracted Driving Summit, where safety officials, law enforcement, lawmakers, victims, and others gathered to figure out how to defeat the problem, which US Transportation Ray LaHood Is now calling an epidemic.

Distracted drivers never intend to cause harm to anyone when reading, talking on the phone, surfing the Internet, shaving, eating, or engaging in any other act that takes their focus away from driving. However, lives are lost and people are hurt on a regular basis because of distracted driving.

Driver on cell phone hit Berwyn pedestrian, police say, Chicago Tribune, September 23, 2010

Distracted Driving, 2009, Traffic Safety Facts, NHTSA (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Distracted Driving,


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September 16, 2010

NHTSA Reports 911 Illinois Traffic Fatalities in 2009

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes Research Note is out, and our Chicago car accident lawyers are happy to report that the number of Illinois traffic deaths dropped last year. While there were 1,043 Illinois motor vehicle fatalities in 2008, 911 Illinois traffic deaths occured in 2009. 319 of those fatalities were alcohol-related.

The decline in highway deaths was also reflected nationally. There were 33,808 US motor vehicle traffic crash deaths last year—the lowest number of fatalities in 60 years. Consider that there were 37,423 traffic deaths in 2008. That’s a 9.7% drop. Even the number of US motorcyclist fatalities, which has been going up for the last 11 years, finally saw a decline. There were 4,462 motorcycle crash deaths last year, down from 5,312 fatalities in 2008.

While any decline in traffic deaths is always progress made in saving lives, there are always more lives that can and should be saved. There also continue to be thousands nationally and hundreds throughout the state that must contend with catastrophic injuries, costly medical expenses, the loss of a loved one, and other damages. Our Chicago car crash law firm would be happy to evaluate whether you have a case for Cook County personal injury or wrongful death.

More 2009 Motor Vehicle Crash Facts:
• 503 large truck fatalities
• 4,092 pedestrian deaths
• 630 pedalcyclist fatalities
• 2,217,000 traffic accident injuries
• 10,839 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes, NHTSA (PDF)

U.S. Traffic Deaths at Lowest Level Since 1950, NHTSA, September 9, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Department of Transportation

CyberDrive Illinois

September 7, 2010

Chicago Car Accidents Injures Kills Six People and Injures at Least Two Dozen Others Over Labor Day Weekend

According to, numerous Chicago motor vehicle injuries and deaths occurred over the Labor Day weekend, including:

• On Saturday, a Chicago motorcycle accident claimed the life of Lyons resident Lissette Loncola, who was a passenger on the bike. Several other people were injured.

• Also on Saturday, a three-vehicle Chicago car accident on the Northwest Side injured at least eight people. Oscar Reyes was cited for negligent driving, leaving an accident scene, failure to report the auto crash, and neglecting to stay in the lane.

• A Chicago pedestrian accident sent four people, including an 11-year-old girl, a 15-year-old boy, and a 12-year-old girl to the hospital after they were struck by a stolen 1999 Chrysler 300. The people riding in the car fled the crash site.

• 67-year-old Lual Mang died from injuries she sustained during a Glendale Heights car accident on Sunday.

• Also on Sunday, a Rogers Park bicycle accident involving a Mini Cooper claimed the life of 67-year-old man.

• A fiery Englewood car crash on Sunday claimed the life of one female motorist, whose vehicle hit a curb or a viaduct wall before hitting another auto and bursting into flames. The driver died at the Chicago car accident site.

• Five people, including at least three teens, were hospitalized after an SUV rollover crash on Lake Shore Drive. Speed was a likely factor.

• A multi-vehicle Chicago car crash at West Belmont Avenue and North Pulaski Road left at least three people with critical injuries.

• On Monday night, a Des Plaines bicycle accident claimed a 52-year-old cyclist’s life after his bike collided with a vehicle in the curb lane.

• A man was flown to the hospital after he was injured in a head-on Chicago car accident close to Fox Lake last night.

Holiday Weekend Crashes Kill 6, Injure Dozens More, myFoxChicago, September 7, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Traffic Accidents, Nolo

Car Accidents, Justia

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August 17, 2010

Chicago Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Over Rogers Park, Illinois Car Crash that Left Woman Dead and Her Son with Serious Injuries

Nearly eight months after a driver in a car fleeing police allegedly struck his wife and son during a Rogers Park pedestrian accident, Felix Worthon is suing motorist Ralph Eubanks for Chicago wrongful death. Worthon, his 48-year-old wife Maria, and their 6-year-old son Jeremia were crossing a narrow street at the time. Maria, whose body was thrown some 100 feet after she was struck, died at the Rogers Park car crash site. Jeremia sustained critical injuries.

According to Cook County prosecutors, Ralph Eubanks, the driver of the 1998 Grand Prix that struck Maria and Jeremia, was fleeing police and allegedly driving at about 70 to 80 mph. He did not slow down or stop at the Rogers Park car accident site.

Eubanks was apprehended with traces of ecstasy, cocaine, and marijuana in his blood. He is charged with aggravated driving under the influence, first-degree murder, and leaving the scene of a deadly car accident site. At his bond hearing after the deadly Rogers Park traffic crash, prosecutors said that Eubanks has never had a driver’s license. He also has three prior convictions for driving without one and has spent time behind bars for drugs, weapons, and possession of a stolen vehicle-related convictions.

Worthon is also suing the owner of the vehicle, Dennis Jeter. Worthon contends that Jeter gave his “explicit permission" for Eubanks to use the vehicle.

Drunk driving and drugged driving are negligent acts that claim the lives of many people each year. Do NOT speak with the other party’s insurer about your Chicago car accident case without exploring your legal options first.

Suit filed against driver, car owner in fatal crash, Chicago Breaking News, August 9, 2010

No Bond For Driver Held On Hit-Run Murder Charge, CBS2, December 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Drugged Driving, NIDA

Impaired Driving, CDC

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July 26, 2010

Champaign, Illinois Teenager Was Texting When He Fatally Struck Chicago Pedestrian with His Car

19-year-old Young J. Kim has pleaded guilty to texting while driving and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident in the Illinois cell phone accident that killed an 84-year-old Chicago pedestrian.

Perfecto Perez was crossing the street in downtown Urbana when he was fatally struck by Kim. At the time of the Illinois traffic accident, Perez was wearing dark clothing and not in a crosswalk.

Chicago Car Accidents
While it can be hard to resist the urge to text while driving at the very moment the text message appears in your Inbox, refraining from doing so can save lives. Motorists should not engage in distracted driving, which takes their eyes and attention off the road. Texting also requires that a driver take at least one if not both hands off the steering wheel—one to hold the PDA or phone and another to open the message/compose one—and this can make it hard for the motorist to respond appropriately or safely during an emergency situation. It also is illegal in Illinois to text while driving a motor vehicle.

Road and Travel Magazine offers suggestions on how you can avoid the temptations of talking on the phone and/or texting while driving, including:

• Pull of the road if you are going to text
• Use a hands-free cell phone
• If your conversation is emotionally charged or stressful, get off the phone until you’ve arrived at your destination

Teen pleads guilty in fatal accident involving texting,, July 23, 2010

Teach Teens Dangers of Texting While Driving, Road and

Related Web Resources:
Cellphone laws, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Distracted Driving, National Safety Council

Continue reading "Champaign, Illinois Teenager Was Texting When He Fatally Struck Chicago Pedestrian with His Car" »

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June 25, 2010

11-Year-Old Girl Dragged in Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident Dies

A man accused of killing an 11-year-old girl in a hit-and-run Chicago, Illinois car crash has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Carlos Rubio was arrested just hours after Itali Hinton was struck and then dragged several feet by a van on East 79th Street on Tuesday evening. She sustained a traumatic brain injury and was soon pronounced dead at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital.

Rubio, 67, had stopped at the Chicago pedestrian accident site, but then drove off after his vehicle was surrounded by a crowd that had witnessed the incident. He was arrested at around 2am on Wednesday after he was positively identified as the owner of the van that struck Hilton. The vehicle had been damaged on its front passenger-side bumper section.

Illinois law mandates that drivers stop at the site of any accident they are involved in. This allows the motorists to exchange contact and insurance information in the event that any vehicle damage occurred and if someone was injured, render assistance. Some people’s lives have been saved because the other motorist involved called 911 and tried to help.

Losing your loved one in any kind of accident is a devastating experience. You may be able to hold the negligent party responsible in civil court.

Man, 67, Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Girl, 11, My Fox Chicago, June 25, 2010

Girl, 11, killed by hit-run driver, Sun-Times, June 24, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Cyber Drive Illinois

Things You May Not Know About Hit and Run Accidents, Deadly Roads

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June 18, 2010

Driver Accused of Striking Pregnant Pedestrian During Hit-and-Run Chicago Car Accident is Charged with Her Murder

The driver accused of striking 20-year-old Ludjana several times with his vehicle before leaving her at the Chicago car accident site has been charged with first-degree murder. Dido, who was six months pregnant, died of the multiple injuries she sustained in the Chicago pedestrian accident early on June 12, 2010. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has ruled her death a homicide.

According to police, two groups of people became involved in an altercation on the Northwest Side. The verbal dispute turned physical and Dido reportedly threw a bottle at two people who were fighting. One of the people who was hit in the face was 18-year-old Roberto Garcia.

After both groups walked away from each other, police say that Garcia got into his car and drove towards Dido and her friends. While everyone else ran to the side of the vehicle, Garcia allegedly struck Dido, which caused her to become dislodged under the vehicle. He is accused of striking her at least two more times until he was dragging her under his auto. He then allegedly fled the Chicago motor vehicle crash site and told his friends not to pretend that the incident didn’t happen.

Witnesses, however, identified Garcia as the driver that hit Dido. On Monday, Garcia was ordered held without bond. He plans to appeal during his preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for next month.

Chicago Pedestrian Accidents
Regardless of whether or not a driver intended to strike a pedestrian, the motorist can be held liable for Chicago personal injury or wrongful death. Pedestrians have nothing to protect them from the impact of getting hit by a motor vehicle, and often, the injuries can be catastrophic. If the pedestrian survives with serious injuries, medical care, rehabilitation, and other costs can take a financial toll unless you obtain Chicago car accident recovery.

No bond for man charged in pregnant woman's hit-and-run death, Chicago Sun-Times, June 14, 2010

Pregnant woman killed in Northwest Side hit-run, Chicago Tribune, June 12, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Illinois Department of Transportation

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June 2, 2010

10-Year-Old is Crushed to Death in Chicago Pedestrian Accident

Drunk driving may have been a factor in a Rogers Park pedestrian accident that left a 10-year-old boy with fatal crush injuries on Saturday. Santos and his 3-year-old sister Liliana had just excited their dad’s car and were walking to their aunt’s house at around 5:45 am when he became pinned two parked sport utility vehicles.

The fatal pedestrian accident happened when driver Martin Candia allegedly ran a red light, lost control of his Chevrolet van, and rear-ended one of the SUV’s, pushing it into the other SUV and crushing Santos in the middle. According to boy’s dad, Bulmaro Santos, his son never regained consciousness. He died two hours later.

Meantime, Candia has been charged with reckless homicide, felony drunk driving, and a number of traffic offenses, including driving on a suspended license. His blood-alcohol level was .109 after the Chicago car accident and he failed a sobriety test.

Santos was not the child only child to suffer critical injuries in a Chicago pedestrian accident over the Memorial Weekend. On Friday afternoon, a 13-year-old boy sustained serious injuries when he was hit by a car while crossing the street the Southwest Side Marquette Park neighborhood.

The driver accused of striking him, 19-year-old Steven Mendoza, was cited for negligent driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving without insurance, and not exercising due care when there was a pedestrian in the roadway.

Six Killed in Holiday Weekend Crashes, MyFoxChicago, June 1, 2010

Boy, 10, crushed between parked SUVs in N. Side crash, Chicago Tribune, May 30, 2010

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May 29, 2010

Drive Carefully to Prevent Cook County Car Accidents: AAA Chicago Says 1.5 Million Motorists to Drive from Illinois Over Memorial Weekend

According to AAA Chicago, approximately 1.5 million people will be driving from Illinois over the holiday weekend. While a long weekend is always a wonderful opportunity for friends and family to get together, the Illinois Department of Transportation is cautioning that this weekend is also one of the deadliest periods on the roads.

According to the IDOT, 30 people died in 17 Illinois traffic crashes during the Memorial weekend last year—that’s about 9 deaths a day. While law enforcement agencies have stepped up their patrols and police enforcement to hopefully keep the Illinois car accident death toll down this year, it is still up to drivers to operate their vehicles carefully, wear there seat belts, and refrain from disobeying the traffic laws, speeding, driving drunk, talking on the cell phone, text messaging, or following too closely.

AAA offers a number of tips for safe travel over the Memorial Day weekend, including:

• Don’t drive aggressively
• Make sure your car is properly serviced before heading off
• Don’t keep stepping on the brakes
• Program your GPS before you get in the car not while you are stuck in traffic

Even though it is a holiday weekend, if you were injured in a Chicago car accident that was caused by another party’s reckless or negligent driving or because a vehicle malfunctioned or a traffic light didn’t work properly, it is important that you report the incident and speak with a Cook County motor vehicle crash lawyer about your case.

More people expected to travel this holiday weekend, SunTimes, May 28, 2010

Related Web Resources:

CyberDrive, Illinois

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May 21, 2010

Chicago Taxi Accident Victim Remains in Critical Condition

A Bucktown man who was injured in a hit-and-run Chicago taxi accident on May 14 remains in critical condition. Daniel Firkins was leaning through the window of a taxi that he had just summoned when, during a disagreement, the cab driver stepped on the gas and drove away with the 32-year-old still partially in the vehicle. The taxi driver then fled the car accident scene.

Firkins sustained a traumatic brain injury, two skull fractures, and other miscellaneous injuries. Tire marks on his leg also indicate that the cab had run over him. On Wednesday, his mother said that her son, who was placed in a drug-induced coma, may not make it.

David and Maureen Firkins are asking for help in identifying the cab driver. They considered the driver’s actions intentional and not accidental. The taxi involved in the Chicago cab accident is a white taxi with blue stripes.

Hit-and-Run Injury Victims
If you or someone you love was injured in a Chicago car accident involving a hit-and-run driver, you will need help collecting damages. Sometimes this means getting the company that provides the victim with insurance to pay damages. At other times, it means going after the driver’s insurer and other liable parties once the driver has been apprehended.

Motorists are supposed to stop at a Cook County car accident site to exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved. They also should call 911 in the event that medical help is required. It is a crime to hit-and-run. Not helping an injured motorist or pedestrian can cause the victims’ injuries to become more serious or, worse yet, lead to Chicago wrongful death.

Parents keep vigil over man dragged by cab, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2010

Man critically injured in taxi accident, ABCLocal, May 19, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Hit-and-Run Accidents, Deadly Roads

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May 14, 2010

Chicago Car Accident that Killed One Pedestrian and Injured at Least Eight Other People Leads to DUI Charges

Hector Ramirez is charged with aggravated DUI in a Southwest Side car crash involving a death, reckless homicide, aggravated DUI without a driver’s license, operating a vehicle without insurance, driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, driving without a valid license, and not using due care for a pedestrian in a roadway. The 32-year-old is accused of causing a Chicago car accident that involved his vehicle hitting three pedestrians and three other autos on May 7.

One of the pedestrians, 25-year-old Jamie Castillo, was later pronounced dead at a Cook County hospital. Three adults were admitted to hospitals in serious-to-critical condition. Four others were admitted in good-to-fair condition. One young child was admitted to Stroger Hospital in fair condition. Ramirez, who was placed under arrest, was taken to a hospital after he complained of chest pains.

Chicago Car Accidents
Drunk driving is one of the leading causes of catastrophic car accidents. A driver who decides to drive drunk is behaving carelessly and recklessly while endangering people’s lives. Unfortunately, even though people know better, there are those who still choose to drive while intoxicated. Often, it is the usually the people who weren’t driving drunk that end up suffering the most. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 434 Illinois drunk driving deaths in 2008.

On May 3, in another Chicago, Illinois car collision, Manuel Figueroa was waiting to enter the right lane of southbound I-55 (Stevenson Expressway) when he was hit by a Berwyn man in a GMC pickup truck who had lost control of his vehicle and swerved across three lanes. Figueroa died later that day. Police believe the Berwyn driver was drunk when he caused the South Side car wreck.

DUI charges filed against man in fatal Southwest Side crash, Chicago Sun-Times, May 9, 2010

DUI Suspected in Fatal Stevenson Crash, MyFoxChicago, May 4, 2010

Related Web Resources:
CyberDrive Illinois

Drunk Driving, Justia

Mothers Against Drunk Driving

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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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March 26, 2010

Toyota Sudden Acceleration Blamed for Over 100 Traffic Deaths

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 102 fatalities involving Toyota car crashes may have been caused by sudden acceleration. The Los Angeles Times reports that is almost double the number of Toyota acceleration-related deaths—56 fatalities—that were reported at the end of January.

The complaints started to flood in following the recalls of over 8.5 million Toyota vehicles over sudden acceleration concerns caused by sticking gas pedals and ill-fitting floor mats. Meantime, the automaker remains adamant that there are no electronic problems that have contributed to the unintended acceleration accidents.

According to the Times, Clarence Ditlow, from the Center for Auto Safety in Washington, says that he thinks that in the next several months hundreds more Toyota acceleration deaths will be reported. It may be that many people who thought driver negligence was the cause of a car crash are now discovering that the culprit was actually a vehicle defect. Among the recent Toyota products liability lawsuits that have been filed:

Nancy and Daniel Murtha are suing Toyota over the wrongful death of their 5-year-old son. Jacob Murtha died during a Lexus acceleration crash in July 2008. Nancy, who was driving the vehicle, sustained serous injuries when the car accelerated suddenly, forcing her to drive into a rock wall.

Barbrara Green filed a Toyota acceleration lawsuit accusing the automaker of causing the wrongful death of her son, Blazej Ignatowicz. He died in December 2006 when his Toyota Solara sped up to 100 mph, causing him to loose control of the vehicle and crash into a number of trees.

The parents of Mark Saylor and his wife are also suing Toyota. Saylor, his wife, their daughter, and his brother-in-law died last August when the Lexus they borrowed from the dealer accelerated out of control because the gas pedal got caught in the floor mat. It was after their deaths that Toyota began announcing a wave of massive vehicle recalls.

Toyotas' sudden acceleration blamed for more deaths, Los Angeles Times, March 26, 2010

Westchester County, New York Parents File Suit Against Toyota for Death of Their Five-Year-Old Son in Lexus Sudden Acceleration Incident, Marketwatch, March 18, 2010

Saylor relatives suing Toyota, dealers, SignonSanDiego, March 2, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Toyota Motor Corp.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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February 21, 2010

Evanston Car Accident Lawsuit Seeks Cook County Wrongful Death Compensation in Death of Senior Pedestrian

An Illinois wrongful death lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Mavis L. Stonick, a 71-year-old woman who died from injuries she sustained in a Cook County pedestrian accident last year. Mavis L. Stonick was trying to cross Sheridan Road close to Foster Street on October 27, 2009 when she was hit by driver Judy Lowrance.

Witnesses say that Stonick was walking against the light when the Mercedes-Benz hit her. Rainy weather and darkness may have contributed to the Cook County car crash.

According to the Evanston wrongful death lawsuit, Lowrance was driving too fast for traffic conditions and neglected to keep a proper lookout. The complaint is seeking over $200,000.

Chicago, Illinois Motor Vehicle Accidents
Drivers are supposed to keep a proper lookout, follow traffic laws and traffic signs/lights, driver sober, and obey the speed limit. If weather conditions require, a driver must adjust the vehicle’s speed accordingly so that he/she don’t get involved in a Chicago car crash or a pedestrian accident.

For a person who gets hurt because a motorist was reckless, careless, or negligent, the physical, emotional, psychological, and financial tolls can be devastating. Fortunately, injured parties can turn to the civil court system to demand compensation from the liable party or parties. In some instances, settling may be the best option. Other cases will require that you take your Chicago, Illinois car crash complaint to trial.

It is important that you NOT settle without speaking to an experienced Chicago, Illinois personal injury lawyer first.

Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Evanston death, Chicago Sun-Times, February 16, 2010

Estate of struck Northwestern pedestrian files lawsuit, Daily Northwestern, February 15, 2010

Related Web Resources:
Pedestrians, Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, NHTSA

City of Chicago, Pedestrian Program

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February 19, 2010

Driver that Struck 6-Year-Old Jada Washington in Fatal Chicago Pedestrian Accident Was Allegedly High on Cocaine and Marijuana

Police have charged 48-year-old Eddie Lumpkin with aggravated DUI and reckless homicide for causing the catastrophic Chicago, Illinois car crash that claimed the life of 6-year-old girl Jada Washington and seriously injured her aunt Tiuette Richardson. The two Chicago pedestrians were crossing the street at Ashland and 74th at around 6:30 on Tuesday when they were struck by Lumpkin, who was driving a van.

According to prosecutors, the young girl’s body struck the windshield before flying into the street. Jada was pronounced dead at University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Richardson injured her shoulder blade and leg, as well as fractured her skull.

Authorities say that prior to the South Side auto accident Lumpkin had been ticked at least 40 times for traffic offenses. Speeding, running red lights, running stop signs, and failing to exercise caution around pedestrians were among the many violations he’d been cited for. He was convicted six times but the majority of tickets against him were dismissed.

Chicago DUI Accidents
Even though people know how dangerous it is to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, there are motorists who still get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while intoxicated or high. When this happens, the motorist becomes a danger to everyone on the road.

It is bad enough to be the victim of a pedestrian accident let alone get hurt in one that involves a drunken or drugged driver whose vision, reflexes, and ability to stop a vehicle have been severely impaired. While most drunk and drugged drivers never intend to injure or kill anyone, unfortunately there are those who end up doing just that. If his happens, you should speak with an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer right away.

As for the people who dare to drink/get high and drive, our Chicago, Illinois pedestrian accident law firm wants to remind you not to be so reckless. In a city with such good public transportation and so many hotels, there is no excuse for why you need to ever get behind the driver’s seat of a car when you are under the influence.

Prosecutors say motorist charged with DUI in child’s death had cocaine in his system, Chicago Tribune, February 19, 2010

Motorist in girl's death collected at least 40 traffic tickets, ChicagoBreakingNews, February 17, 2010

Related Web Resources:
What is Drugged Driving?, National Institute on Drug Abuse

CyberDrive Illinois

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