An accident involving 4 vehicles injured 14 people on Saturday evening, sending them to area hospitals for treatment, according to local police.
The incident began when a van attempted to switch lanes on the Kennedy Expressway near the Ohio Street exit. The van hit a church van from Milwaukee carrying 20 people in the process and caused the church van to spin out of control and hit another vehicle, which then collided with a fourth car. The van that initially caused the collision fled the scene immediately after the crash.
Emergency crews responded to the scene and transported all 14 people to local hospitals, including Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center, and Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center. Though it appears that no one suffered life-threatening injuries, two people were in serious-to-critical condition. All outbound lanes of traffic were blocked while authorities investigated and cleared the scene, causing some significant delays and back-ups along the highway and surrounding surface roads for over an hour. All of the 14 injured people were in the church van at the time of the accident and the drivers of the other two cars escaped injuries.
Van accidents pose a serious risk of injury for the passengers within due in part to the heavy weight that is associated with a fully loaded van. The extra passengers mean that these vans are much heavier than other passenger vehicles on the road, and this weight can make it harder to stop a van when a dangerous situation occurs. Additionally the extra weight is thought to be one of the reasons that passenger vans are involved in so many rollover accidents each year.
Even though the risk of injuries is high, passengers in vans often feel a false sense of safety and security that leads them to not use seat belts and other safety devices. All too often, this decision proves fatal as collisions cause passengers to be thrown around inside the car or even ejected. Failure to use a seat belt increases the risk of serious injury to passengers, which may include broken bones, lacerations and cuts, impalement, organ damage, and head injuries, to name a few. This is truly tragic because these vans usually have seat belts available for passenger use but they are ignored out of convenience.
Churches are among the biggest users of passenger vans, as are schools and daycare centers. When a collision injures the passengers inside of a van, many people do not realize that they may have a claim for their injuries. If the victim is a minor, a parent or legal guardian can bring a claim on the minor’s behalf. In these cases, it is important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that evidence can be preserved and so that a fair recovery can be made.
If you have been injured in a passenger van accident, call the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free, no obligation telephone consultation. We also offer free in-home and in-hospital consultations for those individuals who want to meet with us in person but are too injured to make the trip to our offices. You can speak with a licensed lawyer 24 hours a day so please call us now at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442.
Prior Blog Entries:
Crash Between Fire Engine and Car Leaves 2 Injured in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 6, 2013.
South Side Crash Leaves 4 Injured, Including 2 Cops, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 5, 2013.
Major accident snarls Kennedy, 14 injured, Chicago Tribune, published June 8, 2013.
Severe Accident Closes Kennedy, 14 People Injured, NBC Chicago, published June 9, 2013.