Mutli-car accidents and pile-ups can happen in any month of the year, but as this rough winter has shown, these accidents are more likely to occur when weather is poor. Snow, ice, and fog are just some of the leading causes of pile-up crashes but those factors alone are not usually responsible. Instead, in most cases, the weather is simply one factor that gets combined with the negligence of one or more drivers in the initial start of a mutli-vehicle crash in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois.
Personal injury lawyers who handle car accident cases in the city know that these crashes can be serious, and in the worst cases, even fatal. Often, victims who bear no fault are involved in these crashes and may become injured as a result. The best way to learn about your legal rights is to speak with a lawyer following a car accident so that you can learn whether you may be entitled to financial relief for your damages.
Unfortunately a very serious pile-up crash happened on Thursday, February 20 near Peotone, Illinois. Though it is still early in the investigation, police believe that fog in the area likely played some role in the crash. A six mile stretch of I-57 experienced accidents involving at least 7 semi trucks and at least 12 other vehicles and the highway had to be closed in both directions for several hours. Police and emergency crews were on the scene but there were so many disabled vehicles that it proved a challenge to sort through the facts. Eventually, an extraction team had to be called to help remove the debris from the scene and to allow for the eventual reopening of the area. At least one semi truck caught fire and burned for some time, unable to be reached by emergency crews, and at least one passenger vehicle was trapped underneath a tractor trailer in the string of accidents.
At least 10 people were injured in the series of accidents on Thursday and needed medical attention at area hospitals. Though their current conditions remain unknown, all 10 people were expected to survive.
Police are still trying to determine all of the factors that started the collisions and whether any citations will issue as a result. Investigators have spoken with some drivers and passengers involved in the accidents as well as bystanders in an attempt to learn about the conditions that day and to evaluate the actions of those involved.