Van driver won’t face charges in fatal wreck

On behalf of Goldberg Weisman Cairo

A driver in a fatal Illinois crash was found to be sober at the time of the car accident, so he will not face any criminal charges. The man, age 45, reportedly drove off a freeway in the southern part of the state, causing a wreck that killed five passengers in the van he was operating. A total of 11 people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash. They were members of a Christian group traveling to California.

Authorities report that the accident occurred about an hour east of St. Louis on May 20. The van is said to have flipped off the interstate, sending nine passengers flying from the vehicle. Five of the victims perished at the scene, while the other four suffered serious injuries. The driver said he was not sure why the accident occurred, but he admitted that he may have fallen asleep momentarily. The man was tired after a six-hour driving shift, according to media reports.

Instead of facing criminal charges in the case, the man has simply been cited for driving on a suspended license and improper lane usage. A follow-up hearing will occur at the end of September in the case. Police officers said the accident did not appear to have any nefarious motivation behind it. The man simply made a driving mistake that ended up causing several fatalities. The man’s driver’s license was suspended after he failed to make adequate insurance payments. He has also had his license taken away because of child support issues, but there is no evidence that he has any previous driving violations in the past decade.

Even though the man in this case is not facing criminal charges, he may be subject to civil litigation from the family members of the decedents. Those who suffered injury in the collision may also be able to collect damages from the driver that could help pay for their medical bills.

Source:, “Prosecutor: No charges expected in southern Illinois freeway van wreck that killed 5 from Md.” No author given, Aug. 28, 2013

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Van driver won’t face charges in fatal wreck