Sometimes you can do all the right things and still end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Practicing safe driving techniques everyday certainly decreases your likelihood of being in a car accident, but it is impossible to always account for the thousands of people that you share the road with every day. On average, there are more than 6 million motor vehicle accidents every year in the United States, and the total number of cars out there is steadily increasing. As a result, nearly every American old enough to drive has seen or been a part of at least one of these accidents in their lifetime.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of these collisions is that a majority of them are avoidable. Distracted, reckless, and aggressive driving are some of the most commonly cited causes of car accidents, claiming a new victim roughly every 12 minutes. Yesterday, police officers in pursuit of suspects in an early morning home invasion struck and killed a south side woman as she drove to work. (NHTSA)
According to reports, the chase started when officers were informed that the three suspects had committed a home invasion in the 7800 block of South Ellis Avenue, and had used a firearm. The pursuit began in the Grand Crossing neighborhood and ended shortly afterwards in Chicago’s South Shore, when the officer’s police SUV collided with a 2006 Pontiac. The victim, a 56-year-old woman, was pronounced dead shortly after, and the two officers were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. A third car also received front-end damage, but the occupant was not seriously injured. Officials say that the SUV had its sirens and lights operating but could not determine whether the vehicle ran a red light during the chase, or how fast the vehicle was traveling when the collision happened.
As is the case with all police car chases, the department will review the incident to ensure that the officers followed proper procedures in pursuing the suspects. A spokesman noted that law enforcement officials must weigh the seriousness of each offense against the dangers of the subsequent chase, saying, “Officers are not allowed to chase suspects wanted for minor traffic offenses. But the suspects in Wednesday’s case committee a serious crime with a gun.” Shortly after the accident, another set of officers caught one of the three suspects a few blocks away, finding items taken during the home invasion in the vehicle. (Chicago Tribune)
As this case illustrates, it only takes one group of people choosing to break the law to drastically alter a community’s ability to drive safely. Our lawyers believe that if you drive safely and take all available precautions, you should not be left paying the bills or dealing with the tragic consequences that result from someone else’s negligence. If you or someone you know has had their life altered by a serious injury caused by someone else’s actions on the road, we are here to help.