The fatal Memorial Day weekend Chicago car accident being blamed on drunk driving is a tragic reminder of the consequences of drinking and driving as the summer travel season begins.
The Chicago Tribune reports the crash killed an infant whose first birthday was a week away and closed the Dan Ryan Expressway for hours over the holiday weekend.
The crash injured seven people — the 1993 green two-door Oldsmobile was apparently overloaded as it traveled I-90/94. The 47-year-old driver reportedly lost control and struck a guardrail. Four women and four children were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash — three of the four children were ejected.
While we often think of victim’s in another vehicle when we think of car accidents, it is equally possible to file a claim against the driver of the vehicle you are riding in when a serious or fatal accident occurs. Speaking with a Chicago injury attorney as soon as possible after the crash is the best course of action for protecting your rights.
The accused driver is due in court to face charges of aggravated DUI for an accident causing death and reckless homicide.
ABC7 reports the crash occurred near 75th Street and backed up the outbound Dan Ryan for hours during Monday evening’s busy holiday rush.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports one-third of the nation’s fatal accidents involve alcohol, claiming nearly 11,000 lives in 2009.
Illinois car accidents involving alcohol claimed 381 lives that year — 42 percent of the 911 motorists killed on the road. The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is among the most dangerous times on the road.
Those ages 25 to 44 accounted for about half of all traffic fatalities involving alcohol in 2009. However, the 21- to 24-year-old age group had the highest percentage of drivers with alcohol in their system at the time of the crash — 35 percent.
Not surprisingly, motorists at night were about three times more likely to be involved in a crash with a drunk driver. Weekend nights were most dangerous.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving ranks Illinois a dismal 37th when it comes to drunk driving safety. The organization reports the state has nearly 50,000 three-time DUI offenders.
Abels & Annes offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.