The Chicago Sun-Times reported today on a tragic Streeterville bus crash that took the life of a pedestrian. According to reports, a 47 year old man was behind the wheel of a tour bus in Streeterville when he attempted to make a right turn onto North Columbus Avenue. Unfortunately, a pedestrian was crossing the street at the time and was struck by the large vehicle. The 26 year old female bus crash victim had taken four to five steps from the curb when she was hit. She lived in the area and was only blocks from her home. Paramedics tried to save the victim, but nothing could be done.
The bus driver told authorities that he did not see the victim as he tried to make the turn. Later the man was tested and it was discovered that he was under the influence of cocaine while behind the wheel.
Further investigations revealed many other indicators about the man’s past which should have raised a multitude of red flags for the tour bus company that hired him six months earlier to drive the bus. Since 1988 the man has been ticked roughly 20 times for various traffic crimes. In addition, following the accident it was discovered that he was wanted for sexual assault of children. Two girls were apparently molested by the man when they were 6 and 7 years old in 2006 and 2007. The driver had previously spent time in prison for aggravated criminal sexual assault in 1992.
Tragic deaths in Chicago truck crashes remain far too prevalent an occurrence. It is particularly egregious when the negligent drivers of these large machines are under the influence of substances like drugs and alcohol. For example, just last October our attorneys at Levin & Perconti earned a record $6.5 million Illinois truck crash settlement for the surviving family of a woman who was killed when a truck driver rear-ended the family’s vehicle. The driver was under the influence of marijuana at the time of the accident. In that case the truck owners did not perform drug tests on their employees nor did they perform background checks or obtain driving records.
It is clear that the owners of these large machines must ensure that the people behind the wheel do not pose a risk to other travelers. Our Chicago car crash lawyers at Levin & Perconti send condolences to the friends and family of the victim in this tragic case. It is imperative that these negligent owners and operators be held responsible for this conduct and enact changes to prevent any reoccurrence.
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