A crash on the Eisenhower Expressway Sunday morning left two young women dead and two others injured, causing an investigation that has led police to believe that the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time of the impact.
According to officials, a 20-year-old Chicago man entered the exit ramp off the Eisenhower at Harlem, intending to enter the highway but driving the wrong way on the one way exit. The man, in a minivan, approached another passenger vehicle that was attempting to exit. The driver of the other vehicle, a 20-year-old female, tried to swerve when she saw the minivan approaching but she was unable to avoid a crash. The two cars collided and killed the female driver and her 19-year-old female passenger instantly. A third young woman in the passenger car survived the crash and is expected to recover from undisclosed injuries.
The minivan driver was injured in the accident and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. He remains under police guard at this time and has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in connection with the crash, a charge that carries a possible prison sentence if the man is convicted.
Illinois law makes it very clear that any driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher will be considered to be under the influence of that alcohol and in violation of laws against drunk driving. Drivers are also prohibited from driving under the influence of any other type of intoxicating compound, and this is most commonly seen in the context of those who take illegal or prescription drugs and then get behind the wheel. It can be difficult to determine if a driver is under the influence of a drug in their system but Illinois law takes a very strict approach where any amount of a recognized intoxicating drug in a driver’s system can lead to a charge of driving under the influence.
The laws regarding driving under the influence are strict because the crime is particularly dangerous to those on the roads. A drunk driver is more likely to lose focus on the road, get distracted, fail to obey the rules of the road, and importantly, cause a collision than another driver, creating a threat to himself and those in other vehicles. A driver who chooses to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face criminal penalties but may also be named a defendant in a civil case. This means that in addition to a potential criminal sentence including incarceration, fines, community service, and loss of a driver’s license, an impaired driver may be held financially liable for any damage caused, including personal injuries sustained by a victim of an accident.
If you have been a victim of a drunk driver, you may be able to bring a claim against that driver for your injuries. Your claim can seek compensation for damages like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Each accident and each injury is unique so it is a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney after a crash to learn about your legal rights and options.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are injury lawyers with experience representing victims of negligent driving. We focus our practice on the representation of accident victims and we provide a free consultation to all victims at (312) 924-7575. If you have been hurt, call us today and let us help you down the path to financial recovery.
Prior Blog Entries:
Young Child Hit by Bat at Wrigley Field, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 5, 2013.
Family of Chicago Tour Bus Accident Victim Settles for $6.75 Million, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published August 30, 2013.
Driver charged with DUI in Eisenhower wrong-way crash that killed 2 women, ABC7 News, published September 8, 2013.