A tragic accident along Interstate 55 in Litchfield has left Illinois State Police with a lot of unanswered questions this month, especially when it comes to determining what caused the fatal accident in the first place. While investigators try to piece everything together, the victims’ family members must wait to see what their next steps should be.
The fatal car accident occurred near the Mount Olive exit just days ago at about 5:30 in the morning. Police say that a car carrying six people -- two adults and four children -- was rear-ended by a cargo van, smashing the car and severely injuring the occupants inside. Police believe that the car may have slowed or stopped on the interstate, which may have been the cause of the accident.
While the driver of the cargo van escaped the crash with no injury, the occupants in the car were not as lucky. Two children and the female passenger in the front seat were killed in the crash while the male driver was taken to the hospital for his injuries. It’s unclear if the other two children in the vehicle were harmed in the wreck or not.
While some might argue that the driver of the cargo van may not have had enough time to react to a sudden stop by the other driver, it’s important to point out that all drivers in Illinois are responsible for controlling their vehicle. Perhaps the driver of the cargo van was driving too closely to the car in front and did not allow for proper stopping distance. Or perhaps he was distracted by something just prior to the crash, which may have been the reason why he failed to stop.
While these are just speculation at this time, the case does appear to point to negligence on the part of the cargo van driver and could mean civil litigation in the future if the surviving victims choose to take this route.
Source: ABC 7 News, "Woman, 2 kids dead in I-55 crash in Litchfield," Oct. 26, 2013