Belleville residents know that when people drive while under the influence of alcohol, the consequences are often devastating. Motorcyclists, in particular, may be at a greater risk of serious injury when people operate larger vehicles while drunk. That was certainly the case for six Illinois motorcyclists when a man now charged with drunk driving hit them with his pickup truck. Several of the motorcyclists were seriously injured, and sadly the crash took a Pinckney woman's life.
The fatal accident happened near Tamaroa when the driver of the pickup tried to change lanes. When he did, his vehicle sideswiped a van. The truck then veered out of control into another lane, hitting a motorcycle driven by a 61-year-old man from Pinckneyville. Both he and his 42-year-old passenger sustained minor injuries that were soon treated at the scene.
Drivers of several motorcycles behind the first one tried to maneuver around the accident, and while doing so, one 35-year-old Tamaroa man and his bike crashed to the pavement. His passenger, who was the wife of the Pinckneyville man, was severely injured and rushed to Marshall Brown Hospital. It was there that she later succumbed to her injuries. Her driver also suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.
At least two other motorcycles were taken down in the multi-vehicle accident, and three other riders suffered injuries.
The driver of the pickup truck was taken into custody after failing a field sobriety test. Three passengers -- two of them children -- were in the truck at the time of the wreck. The driver was charged with a number of crimes, including DUI, endangering the life of a child, driving while his license was suspended and wrong lane usage. Other charges were said to be pending.
The family of the fatally injured woman is likely reeling in grief. An accident so unexpected and devastating is bound to leave them looking for answers. When a fatal accident occurs because of another person's drunk driving, Illinois families should know that options are available for holding the responsible party accountable. Beyond a drunk driving conviction, a reckless or negligent driver may be subject to a personal injury claim or a wrongful death claim, and victims and their families should be aware of their rights under personal injury law.
Source: The Daily Register, "Pinckneyville woman killed when driver sideswipes van, hits group of motorcyclists," John H. Croessman, April 3, 2012