A man on his cell phone rear-ended a vehicle and fled the scene when police approached him late Sunday morning in Chicago. As he fled, he caused a second collision just two blocks away, seriously injuring himself and up to five others in the Park Manor neighborhood.
A police officer who was filling his gas tank near Indiana Avenue and Marquette Road and saw a car driven by a man rear-end another vehicle. It is believed the driver was on his cell phone at the time of the impact. Both cars pulled over after the impact and the officer responded, initially talking to the car that was struck. When the officer began to walk to the at-fault vehicle that caused the rear-end crash, the driver took off from the scene. He tried to drive west on 71st Street over the Dan Ryan Expressway but he hit a minivan that was trying to turn left onto State Street.
The first crash resulted in damage only to the front vehicle which had a man and woman inside at the time of impact. They witnessed the second crash and said that an individual from the minivan was ejected as a result of the collision.
Police have said that the at-fault driver was in serious-to-critical condition after the accident and that four people inside the van were also hurt. Three people were taken from the scene to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious-to-critical condition and three others were taken to Saint Bernard Hospital and Healthcare Center where their conditions were not immediately known.
The Chicago Police Department has not yet stated whether the driver who caused both collisions will face any civil or criminal charges.
Assuming this early information is all correct, the at-fault driver in these accidents committed several negligent acts. Initially he drove while on his cell phone. Cell phones are a significant distraction to drivers and are responsible for many crashes. In addition, using a cell phone without a hands-free device is a violation of local laws in many areas, though it is unclear how this driver was using his phone at the time of the first crash. In addition to driving while distracted, this driver fled the scene of a collision without speaking to police or providing identification information. What was only a minor collision with a small amount of property damage instead became a crime when the driver fled the scene and seriously injured several others. Finally it appears that the driver failed to yield the right-of-way to the minivan and thus caused the second collision. Though not all the details are yet known, collisions that eject one or more passengers often have a significant force, meaning that the car or the van or both could have been traveling at a fast speed.
If you have been injured by a driver who was negligent, including a driver on his cell phone, a hit-and-run driver, or even a driver who fails to yield to you, there may be a claim available for your injuries. Call the Chicago car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free telephone consultation and to learn if you have a case. We have a lawyer standing by 24 hours a day so please call us now at (312) 924-7575.
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.
Car speeds from accident, crashes into van, by Peter Nickeas, Chicago Tribune, published June 10, 2013.