Abels & Annes

Illinois auto accident attorney obtains $8 million award in fatal crash involving state trooper

A downstate Illinois car crash lawyer has received an $8 million Court of Claims award for the family of two sisters killed in a 2007 collision, according to the Chicago Tribune. It is being reported that this is possibly a record award for a tort claim against the State of Illinois.

The victims, ages 18 and 13, from Collinsville, were killed when an Illinois state trooper, allegedly driving 126 mph while using email, slammed into their car, causing it to burst into flames. The Illinois traffic accident took place on Interstate 64 near Fairview Heights.

The auto accident lawyer representing the family asked for $46 million, however the family believes that justice was done through the $8 million decision. Four million dollars was awarded for the death of each girl. The mother of the victims stated Tuesday at a press conference that she hopes this award deters negligent behavior in the future.

The ruling still must be approved by the Illinois Legislature in a special bill. These bills generally are introduced near the end of April.

The family was represented by Thomas Q. Keefe Jr., P.C. of Belleville, Illinois.

The police officer was injured in the crash and resigned from his position last year. He has also pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and was sentenced to 30 months probation.

Click here to read the story as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Belleville News-Democrat.