It was just five months ago when people across Illinois learned that a state trooper had been killed by a passing motorist while conducting a roadside stop. The catastrophic accident highlighted not only the dangers that police officers confront every day on the job, but also the destruction that can be caused by negligent motorists. People were urged to pay attention while driving and to be sure to give people stopped on the side of the road plenty of room. Unfortunately, not everyone got this message.
Just last week, another Illinois officer was killed when a passing vehicle struck his car, which was pulled off to the side of the road. The accident is currently under investigation and few details are known, but what is certain is that the wrongful death has devastated the officer’s friends and family.
According to early reports, the officer had pulled onto the shoulder of Interstate 294 to help a stranded motorist. A large semi truck was approaching the scene from behind and ended up crashing into the back of the officer’s vehicle. Both the truck and the cruiser burst into flames. The trucker suffered burns to his hands and the officer’s injuries proved to be fatal.
In Illinois, motorists are supposed to move over to the left lane or significantly slow down when they approach emergency vehicles on the side of the road with their flights flashing. Sources have not confirmed whether the lights on the trooper’s vehicle were flashing or not, and it is not known how the trucker ended up crashing into the car that was pulled onto the shoulder.
In similar accidents, a driver that hits a car stopped on the side of the road is determined to have been drunk or distracted at the time of the accident. This kind of negligence can and should be punished by the victims who are left to suffer the painful consequences. While money cannot undo a tragic accident, compensation can help give victims and their families some financial peace of mind and hopefully prevent someone else from having to go through the same heartbreak.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “Trooper killed in crash ‘loved putting on the uniform every day’,” Peter Nickeas, Andy Grimm and Susan Berger, March 29, 2013