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The family of a 26-year-old woman who was killed in a 2011 tour bus accident has reportedly settled their claim for $6.75 million.
The incident occurred at the intersection of Columbus Drive and Illinois Street in Chicago in early May as the victim walked home from work. A tour bus driver claimed he did not see the woman and turned right, entering the crosswalk where the victim was walking.
The incident was captured on security film which showed that the victim was within a designated pedestrian crosswalk and with a green light in her favor when the accident occurred. The footage also showed that the driver of the bus turned right against a red light and collided with the woman, running her over.
After the collision, emergency personnel responded to the scene but the victim died of her injuries. The driver of the bus was forced to undergo a toxicity screen of his blood which revealed the presence of cocaine in his system at the time he was driving that day. Under Illinois law, anyone with cocaine in their system, regardless of the amount present, can be presumed to be under the influence of that drug and therefore may be considered to have been driving under the influence, a serious crime that may result in incarceration.
Not only did the driver have cocaine in his system but a review of his personal and criminal history revealed that the man had about 20 traffic violations over the prior 23 years and that he was a wanted man in two child sexual abuse cases. Despite this history of numerous driving violations and the fact that the man was wanted by police, the tour bus company employed the driver, who had been working for that entity for about six months before this collision occurred.
The driver of the bus is currently in jail awaiting trial for reckless homicide as a result of this incident. He is also awaiting trial on the separate child abuse charges which were not related to this crash.
If the facts alleged against the driver and the tour bus company are proven to be true, this was not merely an accident but rather a crash that resulted from reckless conduct on the part of multiple people. Many commercial drivers are held to a higher standard of care and must comply with stricter rules while operating a vehicle because they are required to put the safety of the public first.
The driver of the bus in this case put the safety of everyone on the road in danger when he chose to use drugs before driving. It is possible that the driver should never have been employed in the first place based on his spotted driving record, though the types of violations against his record have not yet been released.
Note: The personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. did not represent the victim’s family in this case and did not have any role in this settlement.
If you have been injured in an accident with a bus, you may have a claim for your damages. Call the bus accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free, no obligation telephone consultation to discuss your accident and your legal options. At Abels & Annes, P.C., we know how devastating a bus accident can be and that is why we have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day to take your call. Call us now at (312) 924-7575 and let us help you get a recovery you deserve.
Prior Blog Entries:
Pedestrian Deaths on the Rise Nationally, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 28, 2013.
Chicago Speed Cameras Go Live Today with Warnings, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 26, 2013.
$6.75M settlement in fatal tour bus accident, by Ellen Jean Hirst, Chicago Tribune, published August 29, 2013.