The driver of a van that was involved in a bad rollover crash last week in southern Illinois was driving on a suspended license, according to the Associated Press.Though the Illinois State Police Department has not identified the driver, the Associated Press obtained the citation issued as a result of the crash which did list the driver’s name. From there, it could determine the driver, a resident of New Jersey, had his license suspended last year for insurance-related issues after failing to make three mandatory payments to a New Jersey court. His license was also suspended briefly in 2002 for falling behind on child support.
The crash occurred in Vandalia, Illinois on I-70. Some reports indicate that the van was on the highway while others have stated that the van was on a highway ramp but it is clear that the driver lost control of the vehicle which flipped and rolled over several times. Eleven people were in the van at the time and nine of them were ejected as the van rolled. Five of the passengers died.
The van was reportedly traveling from California back to New Jersey after a week-long ministry gathering out west when the Illinois crash occurred. The names of all the victims have not yet been released but it has been learned that the driver as well as at least one of the passengers had criminal pasts, including incarceration, for crimes unrelated to this incident.
The victims are believed to have been members of Victory Outreach International, a religious group that attempts to help people take control of their lives as well as reaching out to at-risk groups. With over 700 churches world-wide, Victory Outreach is also known for providing drug and alcohol rehabilitation services to those in need.
Though the driver in this accident was cited for improper lane usage and driving on a suspended license, it is possible that he could be charged with additional traffic and possibly criminal offenses once the cause of the crash is determined.
In addition to any citations issued by the Illinois State Police Department, the driver of the van may face civil claims or lawsuits by the passengers that were injured or by the families of those who were killed. The civil claims may be made for things like injuries, medical bills, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. It may also be possible that claims could be brought against the religious group that the driver belonged to, especially if the group owned the van or if it provided the transportation for the victims to and from California.
Large passenger vehicles like the one in this case often mean that crashes can result in serious or fatal injuries. Passengers do not use seat belts in larger vehicles as often as they do in passenger cars creating a higher risk of ejection and serious injuries in the event of a collision.
If you have been injured in a car crash, call the Illinois car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free telephone consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 so call us know and let us help you get a recovery you deserve.
Prior Blog Entries:
Simulated Car Crash Before Prom Gets the Attention of Lake Zurich Students, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published May 24, 2013.
Alcohol Believed to Be a Factor in Chicago Crash that Injured 4, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published May 22, 2013.
Driver in downstate Illinois van wreck had license suspended, Associated Press/ABC 7 News, published May 23, 2013.