Four young men are dead as a result of a Chicago drunk driving accident.
Three of the young men had reportedly been out drinking at a club that night. The fourth, was a young father, was on his way to see his fiancee.
The vehicles collided in a fiery crash, which occurred while the accused drunk driver was heading the wrong way on I-80 in Hazel Crest.
A fifth man, a backseat passenger in the car full of club-goers, remains in critical condition at a nearby hospital, according to reports from NBC Chicago.
The early morning crash forced police to shut down the highway for six long hours, re-opening just after 8 a.m.
Our Chicago drunk driving accident lawyers know that any time a life is lost in such a senseless tragedy, family members and friends never quite recover. They may carry on their daily lives and responsibilities, but they know things will never be the same. To have this grief amplified by the loss of four lives is almost unimaginable.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving, outspoken advocates on the issue of impaired driving, report that every year, nearly 11,000 people are killed because of accidents in which a driver had been drinking. That breaks down to about one every 50 minutes.
In this case, four were lost in mere seconds.
According to news reports, a 29-year-old driver, and his friends had been hanging out at a club in Harvey, and were heading home around 2:15 a.m.
Investigators say he missed his exit. Rather than getting off at the next exit to turn around, he made an illegal u-turn to head east in the westbound lanes of the highway.
That’s when his Infiniti crashed head-on into the victim’s Ford Wagon, just between Kedzie Avenue and Toll Plaza 43.
Family members of the men were blindsided by the news.
The victim’s fiancee said she tried to call him that night to warn him that fog on the road was bad that night. She didn’t want him to risk getting into an accident to come see her. But when she dialed, there was no answer.
By the time she placed that call, the first responders were just starting to arrive.
Just as panic was beginning to set in, she got a call from his mother. He was gone.
The vast scope of this tragedy makes it appear rare. However, police say this is the second alcohol-related, wrong-way driving crash in a week, and the third in the last two months.
Earlier this month, investigators said an SUV was going the wrong way on Stevenson Expressway for nearly 6 miles before it crashed near Lake Shore Drive into another car. And last month, a driver heading the wrong way almost hit a state trooper on the Kennedy Expressway. The trooper was conducting a traffic stop near Kostner Avenue when another motorists swerved around the cruiser.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident in Chicago, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss the rights of accident victims. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
Alcohol Suspected in Fatal Wrong-Way Crash, By Natalie Martinez, Jennifer Schwarz and Dick Johnson, NBC Chicago
More Blog Entries:
Wicked Winter Weather Increasing Risks for Car Accidents in Chicago