Posted On: June 30, 2009

Pickup Driver Killed in Illinois Semi-Truck Crash on Interstate 74

A 79-year-old pickup truck driver was killed on Monday in a head-on crash with a semi tractor-trailer. The deadly Illinois truck crash occurred on Interstate 74.

Emergency workers from Tilton and the Lynch Fire Protection District arrived at the scene. The pickup truck driver was pronounced dead at the crash site. His body had to be cut out of the vehicle and there was a portion of the semi in the pickup truck cab.

The driver and passenger in the semi did not appear to be injured, although the passenger, who was asleep when the head-on crash happened, was thrown into the semi’s cab and almost struck the windshield.

About 60 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into a storm drain. The Vermillion County Haz Mat team was able to prevent the fuel from spreading into local waterways.

Illinois State Police are in charge of the investigation into the deadly truck accident.

Illinois Truck Crashes
It is important to retain the services of a Chicago truck collision lawyer that can begin pursuing your claim and investigating your case immediately. Not only does evidence from the truck accident site need to be preserved, but also truck maintenance records, any previous trucker violations, the trucker’s log book, eyewitness accounts, the truck’s black box data, emergency personnel statements and police reports, the trucking company’s policies and/ records of any violations, and other key information must be examined in order to determine what caused your Illinois truck collision.

Injuries in a traffic accident involving a large truck can prove catastrophic for the victims, who must contend with the impact of colliding with a vehicle weighing thousands of pounds and (in some cases) carrying tens of thousands of pounds of (sometimes hazardous) cargo.

Many truck companies have teams that specialize in limiting liability from truck crash claims.

Head-on collision kills one, Commercial-News, June 29, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Who's at Fault for an Accident FAQ, Nolo

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

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Posted On: June 26, 2009

Deadly Truck Crash: Mother, Father, & Their Three Children Killed in Traffic Collision Involving Two Semi-Trucks

Five people died early Friday in a deadly multi-truck collision involving a pickup truck and two semi-trucks. All of the people that died belonged to the same family—a mother, a father, and three young children. They were pronounced dead at the crash site. The names of the deceased are Joanna L. Workman, 31, Brian W. Workman, 33, Ryan Workman, 1, Tyler Workman, 8, and Ashley Workman, 13.

According to police, the family was riding in a Dodge pickup truck, which was stopped or slowed. A flatbed semi, driven by George A. Hack, was in front of their vehicle.

The deadly truck crash occurred just after 4am when a semi-truck that was transporting double-box trailers approached after driving over a hill. Unable to stop in time, the large truck, driven by truck driver Forest E. Stover, struck the pickup truck, shoving the smaller vehicle into the back of the flat-bed truck.

The pickup truck burst into flames, spreading to Stover’s semi-truck. Both truck drivers were not injured.

The large truck that Hack was driving is an 1999 International semi owned by South Hill Trucking of Elkhorn. It was carrying 50,000 pounds of coil rod. The 2004 Sterling semi that Stover was driving is owned by Con-Way Central Express. Stover’s truck was transporting 65,000 pounds of general freight.

The impact of a large truck—weighing thousands of pounds and carrying tens of thousands of pounds in cargo—shoving a much smaller vehicle into another large truck carrying 50,000 pounds of cargo was obviously too much for the family to withstand. At the Law Offices of Steven J. Malman & Associates, we know how hard it is to lose one person that you love—let alone multiple family members—in a catastrophic truck crash. Our Chicago truck crash law firm is known for taking care of our clients' personal injury/wrongful death concerns so that they can deal with the emotional fallout that comes with coping with the loss of loved ones.

Fiery Crash Kills Mom, Dad, 3 Kids on Interstate,, June 26, 2009

Five family members dead in I-65 crash in Ind., WGNTV, June 26, 2009

Family Of 5 Dies In Indiana Expressway Crash, WBBM780, June 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Truck Safety Coalition

The Dangers of Large Trucks, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

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Posted On: June 23, 2009

Illinois Multi-Semi-Trailer Accident on I-80 Injures One Truck Driver and Kills Another

One truck driver is dead and another is injured following an Illinois multi-truck accident near Minooka on Monday. Four semi-trailers were involved in the collision that killed truck driver William E Henderson, 39, on Interstate 80 and sent Manuel Proctor, 51, to the hospital.

The semi-trailer crash happened after Henderson rear-ended another semi-trailer truck, which then rear-ended another large truck that then struck the back of a fourth semi-trailer truck. Three of the semi-trailers were stopped on the highway when Henderson’s truck caused the chain reaction crash.

According to Grundy County Coroner John Callahan, Henderson, who was driving over a rise in the freeway, failed to see the other semi-trailer trucks. Callahan says Henderson’s cause of death was massive trauma.

If you are a truck driver that was injured in a truck crash because another trucker or a trucking company (or another third-party) that is not your employer was negligent, you may have grounds for filing an Illinois truck accident lawsuit for your personal injuries.

Just because a trucker is riding in a large truck doesn’t mean he or she cannot sustain serious injuries in an Illinois truck crash. While Illinois workers’ compensation law allows most truckers to obtain injury benefits—preventing the truck driver from suing an employer for personal injury—the amount paid to the injured worker may not be enough to cover all accident-related damages and losses.

An experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer will know how to successfully pursue your personal injury recovery from all third parties so that you can obtain the resources that you need to recover. In the event that your truck accident injuries are permanent and you can no longer work, you will need all the support that the maximum recovery for your catastrophic injuries can provide.

Fatal accident closes Interstate 80, Morris Daily Herald, June 23, 2009

1 dead in four-semi accident on I-80 near Minooka, Southtown Star, June 22, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Truck Accidents, Nolo

Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliances

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Posted On: June 18, 2009

Chicago Truck Accident Law Firm: Trucking Group Reports Improvements in Truck Safety for 2008

According to Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, large truck safety in the US trucking industry improved in 2008. Included in the findings from the 2008 truck safety Roadcheck conducted by the CVSA:

• 95% of drivers tested during the CVSA’s three-day safety enforcement event passed the safety inspection—that’s 14.5% more than in 2007.
• Last year, 96.2% of drivers complied with hours-of-service rules—this figure is up from 95.1% in 2007.
• 97.6% of drivers were in compliance with regulations involving hazardous materials—up from 95.1% in 2007.
• 79.2% of vehicles passed roadside inspections—up from 78.5% in 2007.

Truckers and trucks that took part in the Roadcheck inspections were selected based on the participants’ past safety or inspection record or through the use of a computerized Inspection Selection System.

It is very important that truck drivers are in compliance with the safety, work, and rest regulations set up by the federal government for the trucking industry. A driver that is too tired or has not followed the proper safety precautions or has failed to properly inspect his vehicle places other motorists and pedestrians at risk of getting seriously hurt if his or her negligence results in a truck accident.

An experienced Chicago truck crash lawyer should be familiar not just with the different regulations that govern the trucking industry and its truck drivers but also with how to prove that the truck company, the truck owner, the truck driver, or any other parties were liable for causing your Illinois truck accident.

Truck safety improves in 2008,

Related Web Resources:
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

Public Citizen

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Posted On: June 15, 2009

Chicago Truck Accident Lawyers: American Trucking Associations Presents 18-Point Safety Policies List to Promote Highway Safety

Last week, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) held a news conference in Washington DC to discuss its 18-point highway safety plan. The plan is geared toward increasing highway safety, improving trucking and driver performance, as well as creating safer vehicles. Included in the 18 initiatives are policies regarding:

• Uniform testing standards for commercial drivers license
• A national 65mph speed maximum for all motor vehicles
• Non-integrated technologies in vehicles when they are in motion
• More truck parking facilities
• Improved car driver - trucker conduct
• Improved seat belt use
• Seat belt enforcement and red light cameras
• Tougher laws to curb drunk driving
• Graduated licensing standards for teens in each US state
• Electronic speed governing of large trucks made after 1992 and specific non-commercial motor vehicles
• Mandatory safety training for new entrant motor carriers
• New standards regarding large truck crashworthiness
• Access to the Driver Information Resource
• A national clearinghouse for the positive alcohol and drug results of CDL holders
• A registry of certified medical examiners

While some groups are applauding the ATA’s initiatives, including Road Safe America and the American Insurance Association, other groups are a bit more critical of their efforts. Truck Safety Coalition says that the ATA needs to go further in its efforts and says the 18-point plan is just another way for the industry to promote its own agenda. The trucking industry is about to begin lobbying for a $450 billion highway reauthorization plan.

On a positive note, the large truck fatality rate hit a record low in 2007. The US Department of Transportation reports that there were 1.85 deadly crashes for every 100 miles traveled that year. And the large truck fatality rate has decreased 23% over the last 10 years.

Regardless, there are still too many Illinois truck crash accidents occurring and too many people sustaining catastrophic injuries from these collisions.

ATA offers highway safety agenda,

Expanding ATA's Safety Agenda (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
American Trucking Association

Truck Safety, Public Citizen

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Posted On: June 10, 2009

Chicago Tractor-Trailer Driver, Named as Defendant in Wrongful Death Lawsuit Involving Unsecured Load, Charged with Woman’s Death

Robert S. Kostadinov, a 29-year-old Chicago truck driver, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and homicide by vehicle over the truck accident death of Michelle Lamaze. The deadly tractor-trailer collision occurred on November 18.

Police say that Kostadinov’s trailer was carrying a cargo that exceeded the maximum height allowed on Route 22. His container rammed into an overpass, fell off the trailer, and landed in front of Lamaze’s SUV. The container ripped off the roof of her car. The 44-year-old woman sustained blunt force trauma to her neck and head and died at the crash site.

Authorities claim that the Chicago truck driver neglected to properly secure the container’s lower corners. Other charges against Kostadinov include reckless endangerment, careless driving, reckless driving, and motor carrier violations.

Last January, Lamaze’s brother sued Kostadinov and Vidov Trucking Inc. for her wrongful death. Joseph C. Lamaze contends that the defendants violated state law with the container that had a height that went beyond what was legally allowed. His complaint also claims that the trucking company did not have the permit necessary for transporting an over-sized load.

Improperly secured truck loads can be very dangerous. They can lead to motor vehicle accidents involving falling debris or other large pieces of cargo that can come off the truck, obstructing the path of oncoming traffic or striking other motorists or pedestrians that may be in the surrounding area. This can lead to catastrophic, even fatal injuries.

In Illinois, an experienced Chicago truck crash lawyer will know how to determine why a load fell off a truck, what should have been done to properly secure the load, and who should be held responsible for the unsecured load accident. Steel roads, cargo containers, and other materials have been known to fall of large trucks, causing injuries and deaths.

Chicago trucker charged in fatal SE Pa. accident,, June 9, 2009

Family sues trucking company for fatal crash in Whitehall Township,, January 14, 2009

Woman Killed When Cargo Container Slides off Truck, 69 News, November 18, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Rules & Regulations, FMCSA

Hazards to Truck Drivers Loading and Unloading (PDF)

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Posted On: June 8, 2009

Illinois Truck Accident: Man That Was Pinned Between Box Trailer and Dump Truck Sues for Personal Injury

Illinois Truck accident victim Johnny L. Taylor is suing Darrell Gully, James Carson, and ABM Construction for personal injuries. Taylor says he sustained his catastrophic injuries on July 15, 2005 when he got pinned between a dump truck and a box trailer.

According to Taylor’s Illinois truck accident lawsuit, the defendants were negligent because they failed to make sure that there was enough space between the dump truck and trailer before backing the semi-trailer into the box trailer. Taylor is also accusing the defendants of negligence because they failed to let him know that the semi-trailer was going to back into the box trailer.

Gully was the truck driver of the semi-trailer. Taylor says he sustained disabling and permanent injuries from the Illinois truck accident, including a ruptured spleen, a thoracic crush injury, fractures to his sacrum, ribs, and a number of vertebrae, and a blunt injury to his abdomen. He contends that as a result of his injuries, he has incurred medical bills. The plaintiff is seeking over $50,000 in compensatory damages, pre-judgment interest, and other relief and costs.

Getting pinned by a large truck is a serious matter that unfortunately, doesn’t happen as infrequently as we would like to think. Recent serious truck accidents involving victims that were pinned by trucks include:

• In May, a UPS worker died after a UPS driver accidentally backed over him, pinning him against a wall. Police say 58-year-old James Pendarvis died of traumatic asphyxia.

• Also last month, a sanitation worker got hurt after he was accidentally pinned between a garbage truck and the dumpster that the vehicle was lifting to empty out.

• In April, a man got pinned between the body of the truck and the vehicle’s dump box.

If you were injured in a truck accident as the occupant of another vehicle, as an occupant of a truck, as a pedestrian, or as a worker doing your job, you should consult with a Chicago truck accident lawyer to explore your options for personal injury recovery.

Man claims he was pinned between dump truck and trailer, The Record, June 8, 2009

Ridgewood sanitation worker pinned by truck, North Jersey, May 28, 2009

UPS Worker Dies After Being Pinned By Truck, WAPT, May 7, 2009

Iowa Crews Rescue Man Pinned by Truck,, April 14, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Truck Safety Coalition

Transportation Research Forum

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Posted On: June 4, 2009

Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuit Invokes “Dead Man’s Act” on Defendant’s Behalf

A man who was seriously injured in a 2006 Illinois truck accident while riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle is suing the estate of the deceased for his personal injuries. Russell Martin was riding in the car driven by David Groves on the night that the latter collided with a tractor-trailer driven by Jose Velazques. Also named as truck accident defendants are Proctor and Gamble manufacturing, trucker Jose Velazques, and his employer.

Now, however, the attorneys representing Julia Groves, who is the special representative of the estate of David Groves, have invoked the “Dead Man’s Act” to prevent evidence that Groves may have been driving drunk at the time of the catastrophic truck crash from being presented at the personal injury trial.

The Dead Man’s Act keeps conversations and certain incidents involving deceased from being used as evidence and may be applied decedents in Illinois civil lawsuits that were filed after 1973. The act is related to the premise that dead people cannot contest evidence used against them. However, evidence from a disinterested third party can be brought in.

The remaining defendants in the truck accident lawsuit want the judge to reconsider her decision to allow the act to keep certain evidence out of court. They says that there is outside evidence that Groves may have been drunk, including blood alcohol serum tests performed at a hospital after the accident. They say that this fits the description of evidence coming from a disinterested third-party.

Illinois Tractor-Trailer Accident Lawsuits
There are many reasons why Illinois truck accidents happen. However, determining cause and liability takes time, experience, hard work, and the right team of qualified experts that know to examine the evidence and trace responsibility back to the party or parties that caused the deadly catastrophic Illinois truck collision.

Common causes of truck crashes:

• Driver negligence
• Driver inexperience
• Drunk driving
• Distracted driving
• Overloaded trucks
• Defective truck or truck parts

'Dead Man's Act' keeps witnesses mum in Illinois civil trials, The Record, June 3, 2009

Dead Man's Act, Justia

Related Web Resource:
Truck Driver Regulations, FMCSA

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Posted On: June 2, 2009

Five People Injured in 18-Wheeler Truck Accident with Amtrak Train Accident

On Sunday, five people got hurt when an 18-wheeler truck and an Amtrak passenger train collided. The train-truck accident happened as the tractor-trailer was making a right turn. The 18-wheeler then hit a pickup truck.

The Amtrak train, the Sunset Limited, was transporting 69 passengers. Injured on the train were one passenger and two engineers. The truck driver and the pickup truck driver also got hurt.

Because the train was damaged in the truck-train accident, it could not reach its destination and the trains’ passengers had to continue on their journeys using charter buses.

Sunday’s truck-train accident has not been the only collision of late involving an 18-wheeler truck that has resulted in injuries or death. On Monday, Starkes Tarzian Inc. chairman Tom Tarzian was in his car when he was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. He punctured his lung and broke his ribs in the 18-wheeler truck crash.

Last month, an 18-wheeler truck driver was killed on I-95 after he was involved in a multi-vehicle crash with an SUV and several other vehicles. In another tractor-trailer truck accident, a 28-year-old woman died after a metal pole that she was standing near fell after an 18-wheeler truck struck it. Marquetta Grate sustained fatal head injuries and was pronounced dead after undergoing emergency surgery.

On May 14, a tractor-trailer driver and his passenger were sent to a local hospital after the trucker over-corrected a tractor-trailer upon realizing that he didn’t want to exit the freeway just yet.

If you are the occupant of another vehicle, a pedestrian, or a truck passenger that was seriously injured in an Illinois 18-wheeler truck accident, you need to take the proper steps to make sure that your injuries and the truck crash scene are documented as soon as possible.

WRCB/Channel 3 chairman injured in car accident,, June 2, 2009

Amtrak train collides with paper truck Sunday, The Daily Iberian, June 1, 2009

Early Morning Semi-Truck Accident Sends two People to Hospital, 5 News, May 14, 2009

Pittsburgh Woman Dies In Freak Truck Accident At Bus Stop, The Pittsburgh Channel, May 15, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Fatality Analysis Reporting System

Truck Safety, Public Citizen

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