Chicago man faces criminal charges for passenger’s death in crash

We have previously written that lawsuits prompted by car accidents are not always as simple as one injured driver pitted against another. Sometimes, the injured or killed party was a passenger riding with an irresponsible driver at the time of the crash.

While there has been no public talk of a wrongful death lawsuit, police have said that a 32-year-old Chicago man will face criminal charges for a car accident in Alsip early last month that resulted in the death of his 37-year-old female passenger. Both suffered serious injuries when he slammed his Ford Taurus into the back of a semi-truck in early January.

The smaller vehicle became trapped under the trailer, and the occupants had to be extricated from the car before being rushed to the hospital. The driver is still receiving medical care but the woman died from her injuries six days after the crash.

Police say the man has been charged with “failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operation of an uninsured motor vehicle causing bodily harm.” However, they have determined that alcohol was not a factor in the crash. Since he is still under medical care, no court date has been set.

After a devastating and fatal accident, it is often the case that the at-fault driver will face criminal charges. While such charges may be necessary and justified, they will be of little comfort or compensation to the family of the deceased victim. That’s why, in addition to criminal charges, grieving families may also wish to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.

Oak Forest Patch, “Chicago Man Charged in Crash that Killed Oak Forest Woman,” Jeff Graveline, Feb. 1, 2013, “Man charged in car crash that killed Oak Forest woman,” Susan DeMar Lafferty, Jan. 31, 2013