Last month, two college students were killed tragically when their car collided head on with a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction. The two young men were traveling southbound on Lake Shore Drive at around 4 in the morning on March 15 when an off duty police officer’s Chevy Trailblazer slammed into their black Jeep. The officer, Terrell Garrett, was allegedly severely intoxicated, which could explain why he was driving on the wrong side of the road at the time of the collision.
According to statements made by prosecutors at the March 18 hearing, Garrett allegedly had a blood alcohol content of 0.184 at the time he was apprehended, which is more than double the legal limit. He was reportedly celebrating his birthday the day when the accident occurred. He faces two felony counts of reckless homicide and two felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence, the judge set his bail at $500,000.
The North Chicago Police Department released a statement that they, “immediately relieved Officer Terrell Garrett of his police powers and has placed him on administrative leave pending the outcome of the Chicago Police Department’s investigation.”
According to state records, approximately 50,000 drivers are taken into custody for driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs in Illinois annually. Nearly 80 percent of these drivers are first-time DUI offenders. However, as this tragic case demonstrates, even the first time driving under the influence can result in catastrophic injuries or death. Additionally, it is important to note that the charges relating to DUI are handled through the criminal process. In many cases, victims of these tragic crashes may be able to make additional civil claims against the drunk driver.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident that was caused by an impaired driver, you may have a claim against the driver who caused the accident. You could potentially recover financial compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and benefits, any resulting disability, and a variety of other damages. Additionally, if you lost a family member to an accident that was caused by an impaired driver, you may be eligible to bring a wrongful death action. An experienced Chicago car accident attorney can discuss your potential claims with you in order to determine your best course of action.
If you were injured or a close relative was killed in a DUI or other traffic accident in Chicago, the experienced and diligent attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. are available 24 hours per day, seven days a week to answer your questions and help you file your personal injury or wrongful death claim. Our committed lawyers have years of experience advocating on behalf of clients who were injured by impaired motorists throughout Chicago. To speak with a dedicated car accident attorney, please give the lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 924-7575. You can also contact us through our website.
More Blog Post:
1 Dead, 4 Critically Injured in Far North Side Chicago Crash, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published April 6, 2013
Deadly Illinois Bus Accident Kills One, Injures 37, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published April 5, 2013