Posted On: June 2, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Distracted Driving: Illinois Semi-Truck Crash that Triggered Deadly Nine-Vehicle Collision Involved Trucker Who was Reading A Map

A deadly nine-vehicle crash that claimed the lives of 3 people while injuring at least 12 others was reportedly triggered by a truck driver who was looking down at a map instead of the road as he approached traffic that had slowed down on Interstate 57 close to Mattoon. The trucker ended up rear-ending a vehicle close to a construction zone, which started a chain reaction resulting in the multi-vehicle collision.

The three people that died in the Illinois truck accident were Sheila Douglas, 61, her mom Juanita Hall, 80, and family friend Doris Mayo, 68. They were riding in an SUV that caught fire and was crushed by the large truck. 58-year-old Anne Faust, who is also Hall’s daughter, is in the hospital receiving treatment for her injuries.

All of the surviving Illinois truck accident victims were taken to hospitals. Their injuries ranged from scrapes to trauma.

Semi-truck driver Everett Van Duzee was not injured in the multi-vehicle collision. Urine and blood tests for alcohol and drugs came up negative. Illinois state police believe that his driver inattention was what caused the tragic collision. The Coles County State's Attorney's office will determine whether to file criminal charges against Van Duzee.

Truck Accidents
According to DriveCam Inc., distracted driving is among the leading dangerous driving behaviors that drivers in the long-haul trucking industry are known to engage in. Other bad driving behaviors include:

• Following too closely
• Traffic violations
• Failing to look far ahead
• Failing to keep an out

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology noted in its “2008 National Truck and Bus Crash Picture” presentation that 1% of long-haul trucks had been involved in a crash involving at least one fatality that year. 17% were involved in truck crashes involving at least one injury. 82% were involved in long-haul truck crashes involving only property damage.

DriveCam study pinpoints dangerous driving behaviors, Refrigerated Transporter, June 2, 2010

I-57 crash victims IDed as Miss. women, Chicago Tribune, June 2, 2010

Three killed in multi-vehicle accident on I-57 north of Mattoon, Herald-Review, June 1, 2010

Related Web Resources:
FMCSA Office of Analysis, Research, and Technology

Trucking Accidents, Nolo

Chicago truck accident attorney Steve Malman would like to offer you a free consultation.

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