Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on April 10th, 2015,
by Zane Cagle

One Killed in Illinois When Truck Hits Disabled Car on Interstate 55

Posted on April 10th, 2015 by Zane Cagle

interstate crashesIllinois State Police are still investigating a truck crash on Interstate 55 that resulted in the death of one person and injuries to another.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a semi-trailer traveling northbound on I-55 near Lockport Road struck a 1999 Chrysler that was disabled in the roadway according to State Police.

The driver of the Chrysler, a 47 year-old man of Joilet was pronounced dead at the scene at about 5:42 according to the Will County Coroner’s Office.  The 46 year-old semi-truck driver from Melrose Park was taken to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Interstates–Dangerous for Disabled Vehicles

When your car breaks down on an interstate, it becomes a dangerous situation because of the speed at which most vehicles travel on an interstate. Vehicles traveling between 50-80 mph often, do not see people or vehicles on the roadside very easily.  If a driver is distracted in any way, they may never even see someone or a car on the side of the road.

I have blogged about this kind of tragic crash in the past.   The driver and or passengers in a disabled vehicle are really in a dangerous position on the interstate as we read about car accidents frequently involving semi-trucks and other vehicles crashing into various kinds of disabled vehicles.

What to Do if Your Car Breaks Down on the Interstate?

If your vehicle is having a problem while you are driving, try to get to the right shoulder of the roadway as soon as possible or take the nearest exit off of the interstate. As you pull your vehicle off the road, keep the following safety procedures in mind:

  • Try to coast along the shoulder until you’re away from any curves in the road behind you.  This placement pays off when you’re ready to get back onto the road because you can spot oncoming traffic before it’s on your tail. Also, it makes you more visible to traffic coming up upon you.
  • If the engine dies right on the interstate-attempt to turn on any and all flasher lights and signals as well. Turn your interior light on and if possible hang a white cloth out the window.
  • In the past authorities have told you to stay in your car, however, due to the number of deaths just like above, more and more authorities are encouraging you to get a safe distance away from your car.  Once you have made every attempt possible to get your car off of the road and have turned on your emergency lights, exit your car away from the highway.
  • Call 911 immediately as well as hit *55 on your phone for motorist assistance.
  • Your car breaking down on the interstate is an emergency situation as it is a high risk for a crash so authorities need to be notified immediately so they may respond and increase safety for all motorists.
  • Don’t stand right next to your vehicle, especially if it is in the middle of the interstate.  People are hit by passing vehicles because either other drivers do not see them in time or do not see them at all. Get a little distance from your vehicle so that you can be safe until emergency personnel arrive.
  • Obviously, do not leave the scene of the disabled vehicle but get a safe distance from the roadway so you will not be hit by a passing car. Remember, they are traveling between 55-80 mph and your car is at a dead stop which means your vehicle and those people in it will absorb all of that speed.

Disabled vehicles are dangerous for everyone involved

Two years a go a 28 year-old  Illinois State Trooper was killed when a semi-truck rear-ended the trooper’s cruiser on Interstate 294. Five months prior a 32 year-old Illinois trooper was struck and killed by a semi-truck during a traffic stop on Interstate 55 near Litchfield, Illinois.

Individuals are most often hit by another vehicle when they are out of their vehicles and yet in close proximity. The deaths and injuries are traumatic.  About a year ago, a 28 year old man was struck on eastbound I-74 in Illinois near Oakwood when he outside of his vehicle trying to work on it.  The vehicle was parked partially on the left shoulder and partially in the passing lane. The semi-truck driver who hit the man said he never saw the car in time to avoid hitting it and the young man.

interstate truck crashWhen you are on an interstate, do not pull onto the shoulder unless it is an emergency.

While driving on the interstate, never pull over for non-emergency events. It is just entirely too dangerous.

Sadly, I have represented numerous people who were hit after their car became disabled on the interstate.  The injuries can be severe if not fatal.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you will need legal representation. Our attorneys are available seven days a week for free, confidential consultations.

Speak to an attorney now, toll free 1-800-685-3302 or locally 314-276-1681.