Arrest made in 2009 Chicago car accident that injured worker in construction zone

A Gary Indiana man was arrested recently and charged because of his involvement in a Chicago car crash that injured a construction worker last summer, WGN News reported.

The Chicago construction zone accident occurred when an SUV slammed into a highway worker closing the gate on his truck along the Dan Ryan Expressway. The defendant was ticketed but failed to appear in court. A warrant issued for his arrest in Cook and four surrounding counties failed to locate him until media reports were broadcast nationwide.

The highway worker was severely injured. A year later he is finally walking again. The worker said he hopes his story provides a lesson to law enforcement and is pushing for nationwide warrants to be issued in cases where highway construction workers are injured.

As we reported in April on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer blog, 31 people died and nearly 2,000 were injured in Illinois road construction accidents in 2008.

Scott’s Law, named for a firefighter who was killed after being struck by a motorist at an accident scene on a Chicago expressway, requires vehicles to slow down and move over whenever possible for emergency, construction or maintenance workers. Violators face a mandatory court appearance, driver’s license suspension and a fine of up to $10,000.

Illinois law lowers speed limits in construction zones from 65 mph to 55 mph or from 55 mph to 45 mph, although lower speed limits may be posted. Construction workers do not have to be present for motorists to receive a speeding ticket in a construction zone.

Court appearances are mandatory for motorists cited with a work-zone violation and photo-enforcement may be utilized to increase work-zone safety. Motorists who cause a fatal accident in an Illinois work zone may be charged with reckless homicide, which carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison.

As we reported on our Chicago Car Accident Lawyers blog, Illinois is gearing up for road-construction season, with a series of major summer construction projects, including roadwork on I-290, the Congress Street Bridge and the upper and lower levels of Wacker Drive.

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