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An Illinois man is now facing criminal charges for an accident that took the life of one man and sent five others to the hospital. According to the Illinois State Police, the motorcycle accident occurred in the early afternoon.

A 24-year-old man driving a Dodge Durango is alleged to have rear-ended a Nissan Altima driven by a 30-year-old man. The initial impact forced the Altima, which had been stopped to make a left-hand turn, to cross over into the opposite lane. At that time, an oncoming motorcyclist struck the vehicle. The motorcyclist, identified as being a 57-year-old man, was rushed to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The occupants of the Nissan Altima were transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for their undisclosed injuries. Its occupants included two children, whose condition has not been released at this time.

The 24-year-old man also suffered minor injuries. Police have charged him with aggravated DUI and failure to reduce speed. It is unknown at this time when the man will answer to the charges in court.

The preliminary determination by Illinois authorities may be a significant piece of evidence for the family of the motorcycle accident victim. As they struggle to come to terms with their tragedy, they will typically want answers as well. In assessing their rights under state law, the surviving family members may choose to pursue a wrongful death claim against any party whose negligence is documented to have caused or contributed to the loss of life. Should the driver who appears to have caused the accident be convicted of the charges against him, those criminal convictions may be offered as evidence of negligence in a related civil proceeding.

Source: Morris Daily Herald, "Charges leveled in fatal motorcycle accident in Morris, Illinois," Jessica Shumaker, July 25, 2012

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Bonifield & Rosenstengel
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