Posted On: December 29, 2009

Traffic Accidents Increase at Most Red-Light Camera Intersections

The purported public safety justification for the installation of red light cameras throughout the State of Illinois since 2006 has been put into question as a recent Chicago Tribune article reports that nearly half of the 14 suburban intersections which carry the devices have seen an increase in vehicle accidents. According to the newspaper, car accidents rose at 7 of the 14 equipped suburban Chicago intersections since 2007 while they fell at only 5. The other two intersections showed no significant change. The Mannheim and St. Charles road intersection in Bellwood, IL, provides an example of this trend. Collisions at this intersection rose from 17 the year before the cameras were installed to 24 the year after. Oak Lawn, IL, cameras provide an even more striking example of the development as the intersection at Cicero Ave. and 95th St. has seen an increase in car accidents from 34 in 2006 to 44 in 2008. Additionally, broadside accidents, which can often result in serious personal injury or death, rose from 1 to 5 per year at that location.

A similar trend has been noticed at city of Chicago intersections equipped with the red light camera devices. Numbers compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation show that collisions have either increased or held steady at nearly 60 percent of the 47 city intersections equipped with red light camera traffic control devices.

While lawmakers and municipal officials continue to justify the use of the cameras on public safety grounds, statistics coming from the equipped intersections are telling a different story. Critics of the cameras point to the fact that the devices are heavy revenue generators. Red light camera violations cost Chicago drivers $100 per offense. Opponents of the cameras can now point to increased Chicago car accidents as a justification for curtailing red light camera use.

Posted On: December 23, 2009

Chicago Pedestrian-Car Accident Kills Woman; Critically Injures Boy

The police have one individual in custody following a Chicago area hit and run car accident that left a woman dead and her 6 year-old son in critical condition. The accident occurred on the 1400 block of West Greenleaf Ave in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. According to authorities, the woman, 48 year- old Maria Worthon of the 1400 block of West Touhy Ave., died at the scene of the accident when her and her 6 year-old son were struck by a vehicle around 9 p.m. The car, a Pontiac Grand Prix, was travelling south on North Greenview Avenue when it struck the victim. Chicago police officers arrived to find the victim unresponsive.

The young boy involved in the Chicago car accident was initially taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. He was subsequently transferred to Children’s Memorial Hospital in critical condition. The Grand Prix continued south on Greenview Ave. until it was stopped by police on the 6400 block of North Newguard Ave. Charges have yet to be filed against the driver and the police Major Accident Investigation Unit continues to investigate the Chicago car accident.

Pedestrian-car accidents are common in urban areas where there is a high volume of foot traffic. These types of accidents can often be very serious. If you have any questions about pedestrian-car accidents or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: December 21, 2009

Off Duty Police Officer Involved in Fatal Chicago Car Accident

An off-duty Lockport, IL, police officer was involved in a three vehicle accident that left one dead on Chicago’s Stevenson Expressway last night. The crash occurred around 9:35 p.m. near the Cicero Avenue exit. According to reports, all three vehicles were travelling north on the busy Chicago expressway when the vehicle in the far left lane, which was being operated by the off duty officer, lost control and spun to face the middle lane. Man Wong, a 29 year old resident of the 2000 block of S. Wentworth in Chicago was operating his vehicle in the middle lane when he hit the officer head on. Wong was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital at 10:16 p.m. last night according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The City of Lockport has confirmed on its website that one of their officers was involved in the car crash. At least one source has identified the officer as Edward Stapinski. It is unclear whether or not alcohol played a role in the fatal Chicago car accident. The Illinois State Police are investigating the accident along with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. The crash held up traffic for six hours on the busy Chicago expressway. No traffic citations have been issued to this point.

Expressway car accidents often occur at very high speeds. As such, these Chicago car crashes are some of the most deadly. If you have been involved in an expressway car accident or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney call us today.

Posted On: December 15, 2009

Chicago Bicyclist Injured in Car-Bicycle Accident

A Chicago cyclist was injured Monday in a bicycle-car accident that occurred on Chicago’s Northwest Side. According to Jefferson Park District Police Lt. John Lewison, the accident happened around 11:40 p.m. at the 4400 block of North Austin near the intersection of Austin and Montrose. Reports indicate that the bicycle-car accident occurred when a southbound 2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo attempted to drive around a stopped vehicle at the intersection. The 21 year-old driver of the car involved in the accident was proceeding around the stopped vehicle, which reportedly had a green light, when the motorist hit the westbound bicyclist and ran him over. The driver did not see the bicyclist.

The victim of the accident is a 22 year-old resident of the Belmont-Craigin neighborhood. The victim was hospitalized at the Advocate Masonic Medical Center where the victim remained as of Monday night. The victim was listed in critical condition. The motorist involved in the car accident was issued a traffic citation for negligent driving. Police have not released the identity of the driver. The accident is still being investigated by the Major Accident Investigations Unit.

The driver in the accident may be liable for the injuries suffered by the bicycle victim. If you have any questions about bicycle-car accidents in Illinois or would like to speak with an experienced Chicago attorney, please click here.

Posted On: December 11, 2009

Chicago Woman Killed by Amtrak Train in Lake Forest, IL

A woman died yesterday when she was struck by an Amtrak train around 5 p.m. According to Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari, a Seattle and Portland bound train hit the woman as she was using the pedestrian crossing at the Lake Forest, IL, station. The train accident claimed the life of 43 year-old Teresa Spradlin of Grayslake, IL. The Lake County Coroner officially pronounced Spradlin dead around 6 p.m. yesterday.

Two unidentified Grayslake men were also injured in the train accident. Those men were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with reportedly minor injuries. Amtrak officials and the Lake Forest Police report that the train was stopped for about four hours while the accident was being investigated. It has been speculated that the victim was attempting to cross in front of the non-stop Amtrak train when the accident occurred. The train accident is still under investigation.

According to Illinois Operation Lifesaver, a non-profit public education program established to end collisions and deaths at railroad crossings, Illinois ranks fourth among the top 15 states for rail crossing collisions. The non-profit reports that Illinois suffered 151 highway-rail grade crossing collisions in 2007. About half of these collisions occurred while warning signals were flashing or train gates were down.

Posted On: December 8, 2009

Explosion at Belvidere, IL, Factory Leads to One Fatality

Debris from an unexpected explosion at a Belvidere, IL, factory killed a truck driver yesterday at a roadside oasis nearly a quarter mile away from the facility. Ronald Greenfield, a 63 year old driver from Chesterton, IN, was fatally wounded when an explosion at a crystal manufacturing facility sent exterior panels flying through the air. The explosion occurred at the NDK America plant which manufactures crystals used in liquid crystal displays. The facility was constructed with special exterior panels designed to break away during an explosion. The panels did exactly that as one flew nearly a quarter mile before striking the accident victim.

Belvidere Fire Chief David Worrell reports that the blast occurred around 2:30 p.m. in a highly pressurized chamber where crystals are made. The breakaway design of the factory sent one piece of exterior panel spanning several feet through the air before it struck Mr. Greenfield. Witnesses of the explosion claim that the blast felt similar to an earthquake. One factory worker that was inside the building escaped the workplace accident unharmed. The explosion is still under investigation by the Belvidere Police Department, the Boone County Sheriff, and the State Fire Marshall.

The family of the explosion victim may have a claim against the crystal manufacturing outfit for the loss that they have suffered. If you have any questions about fatal workplace accidents or would otherwise like to speak to an attorney, contact Klest Injury Law Firm.

Posted On: December 2, 2009

Driver in Fatal Chicago Car Accident Charged with DUI

A Southwest side man has been charged with DUI following a Thanksgiving day car crash that left one pedestrian dead. Anthony Morales, a 31 year-old resident of the 5500 block of South Homan Avenue in Chicago has been charged with felony driving under the influence after he was involved in a car accident that claimed the life of 21 year-old Elias Nunez. Prosecutors report that Morales’s blood alcohol content was .33 at the time of the crash, nearly four times the legal limit. Morales has also been ticketed with failure to avoid an accident, following too closely and leaving the scene of an accident arising out of the first car crash.

According to Chicago police, Morales was driving north on Cicero avenue early Thanksgiving morning when he swerved into the southbound lanes. Morales collided with a southbound car as a result of his erratic driving and then attempted to flee the scene of the accident. Morales subsequently struck and killed Nunez who was standing outside of his vehicle about three blocks north of the site of the original accident. Nunez was reportedly dragged under the vehicle for about three blocks after he was hit. He suffered from massive internal bleeding and severe brain injuries as a result of the Chicago car accident.

DUI car accidents often have devastating consequences for both intoxicated drivers and victims. The family of the car accident victim may have a claim against the DUI driver.

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