An accident, described as the worst ever experienced by an Illinois police chief, tragically left two members of a family of five orphaned. Car accidents often have tragic consequences, but when one family loses three members in a single accident, it seems so much worse, as many are left devastated and perhaps destitute. Families left in dire straits after tragic accidents can take solace in the fact that legal avenues remain open to them, as many personal injury lawyers work on a contingency basis.
It is reported that a young male driver, aged 21, traveling west was driving his sedan at approximately 100 mph when he crashed into another sedan, which was in the process of turning into the parking area of a YMCA from the eastbound lane. The force of the impact resulted in the second sedan spinning for about 75 feet, hitting an SUV. The elderly occupants of the SUV were also eastbound at the time of the accident.
The car struck by the speeding young driver had three occupants, a father, mother and their 20-year-old daughter. The 21-year-old driver at fault, as well as the 52-year-old father in the second vehicle, passed away at the accident scene. Both his wife, aged 50, and their daughter died later at the hospital. A passenger traveling with the 21-year-old was critically injured and was also transported to a hospital in the region. The elderly couple only suffered minor injuries.
The three members of the family were on their way to a soccer match in which the youngest daughter was playing. She and her 10-year-old brother are now in the care of their grandparents. While the accident is still under investigation, police have indicated that speed appears to be the cause. The 21-year-old driver’s license had been suspended numerous times, with the last suspension ending a little more than a month ago.
Illinois law allows for the legal estate of fatally injured victims of car accidents to file for wrongful death should negligence be the root cause of the fatal accident. If the investigation into this tragic accident proves that speed was indeed the cause of the accident, wrongful death claims may be filed against the responsible driver’s legal estate, or against the owner of the vehicle he was driving. A successfully litigated case may result in an award of monetary damages resulting from the accident.
Source: Arlington Heights, IL Patch, “Des Plaines Crash Kills Driver, 3 Arlington Heights Family Members“, Shannon Antinori, Feb. 17, 2017