Car accident lawyers at Pintas & Mullins report a fatal three-vehicle crash on Lake Shore Drive, which occurred at about 4 a.m. on March 15, 2013. Two people died in the crash, and another two were critically injured.
All lanes going southbound on Lake Shore Drive were closed immediately following the crash, and did not reopen until about 9 o'clock Friday morning. The accident involved a Toyota Scion, Jeep, and Chevy SUV, and is currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Department's Major Accidents Investigations Unit.
The two men who died were both riding in the Jeep, which was found lying on its side between the Toyota and SUV. Shattered glass was scattered across all four southbound lanes. Cook County Medical Examiners identified the deceased as Fabian Torres, of the 2800 block of South Avers, and Joaquin Garcia, of the 2200 block of West 18th Place. The two men were in their mid-20s, and longtime friends from Little Village.
The cars slammed into each other between Belmont and Diversey avenues. The other critically injured motorists were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, respectively. According to NBC Chicago, the crash was caused by the driver in the SUV going the wrong way, entering Lake Shore Drive most likely at the LaSalle Drive ramp.
Police believe alcohol may have been a factor, as the SUV was traveling at an estimated 60 miles per hour when he slammed into the other cars. The man in the SUV was the only occupant, and is currently hospitalized with a fractured hip and in stable condition. The other injured woman is expected to be treated and soon released.
The fatal crash congested Friday morning Chicago traffic for more than five hours, as police directed drivers off Lake Shore Drive at the Belmont exit ramp. Traffic was backed up for miles, and extended commuting time for more than an hour. Thousands of Chicagoans were late to work on Friday, causing many to wonder why and how the wreckage was not cleared before rush hour.
In February 2012, a similar crash on Lake Shore drive injured three people when a driver going the wrong way struck a Toyota near Roosevelt. The motorist, who was driving a $80,000 sports car with one passenger in the front seat, was critically injured in the crash, which occurred around 2 a.m. Police were forced to shut down Lake Shore Drive lanes going southbound for about an hour and a half.
Emergency crews had to cut one of the victims out of her car, and she then had to undergo surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital to stop internal bleeding. The sports car that caused the crash was owned by Todd Williams, although he was sitting in the passenger seat at the time of the crash. He was letting a female friend drive his car. Williams survived the crash with only minor injuries.
This 2012 crash was the fifth wrong-way accident to occur in the Chicago area that month, and the third to happen in that week alone. In three of the four other wrong-way crashes that month, alcohol was suspected to have been a major factor. One of those crashes killed four people on Interstate 80. Another of those crashes was caused by a drunk driver, who drove the wrong way down the Stevenson for six miles before hitting another car.
More than six million accidents occur every year in the United States. Although they are extremely commonplace, crashes are incredibly dangerous, as more than two million Americans are killed and injured in those crashes. Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins have decades of experience in these cases and understand how frustrating it can be to negotiate with insurance companies and the negligent parties. Too often, victims are not aware of what constitutes a fair settlement. Our lawyers can help you obtain maximum compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, vehicle damages, and lost wages.