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Cross-over auto accident may lead to wrongful death claim

No criminal charges are expected to follow a fatal crash that claimed the lives of two individuals from Cutler. According to the Illinois State Police, the auto accident occurred shortly before 9 a.m. on a recent Monday. An accident report indicates that three vehicles were involved in the fatal collision on Route 150 in the vicinity of Steeleville.

Police say a 39-year-old woman with a passenger was westbound in a sedan when -- for unknown reasons -- she veered across the center line. Her car reportedly first struck an eastbound trailer that was pulled behind a pickup truck that was operated by a 40-year-old Sparta man. Then the westbound sedan smashed head-on into a semi truck that was immediately behind the trailer.

The 58-year-old operator of the tractor-trailer suffered injuries that were reported to be non-life-threatening while the Sparta man was uninjured. The woman who drove the car into the opposite lanes was killed on impact, and her death was declared at the accident scene. Her 20-year-old passenger was rushed to a hospital, but he apparently also succumbed to fatal injuries.

This tragic auto accident may not lead to criminal charges, but the surviving family members of the deceased passenger retain the right to pursue financial relief. They may file a wrongful death claim against the estate of the driver whose apparent negligence caused the fatal accident. When such a lawsuit is presented to an Illinois civil court, the plaintiffs will have to establish negligence to the satisfaction of the court before a monetary award will be considered. Financial losses and emotional damages that were brought about by their loss may form part of the documented claims presented for the court's consideration.

Source:, "2 Killed in Steeleville 'T' Three Vehicle Accident", John Croessman, April 19, 2016

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