When you drive down the highways of Illinois and you see a car stopped on the shoulder, do you slow down and move to the opposite lane? How about when you see an Illinois State Trooper stopped on the side of the road?
The shoulder of the highway can be a dangerous place. For the safety of anyone stopped, it is imperative to remain watchful as you drive and to at least slow down when passing a stopped vehicle. Sadly, an Illinois State Trooper was struck and killed by a semi-truck last November while conducting a traffic stop. The man's widow recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the truck driver's company.
The truck driver may have been suffering from some sort of medical condition that caused him to black out just before the accident. According to the plaintiff's attorney, the truck driver's employer should have known that he was an "imminent danger to the public," and that he should not have been driving a truck professionally because of his knowledge that he was "medically unfit to do so."
It should be noted that the driver works for DOT Foods, which is the nation's largest food re-distributor. The plaintiff's attorney believes that because of the company's constant need for truck drivers, they may not be screening their drivers as thoroughly as they should.
The attorney said: "They are seeking drivers all the time. They are always looking for someone to drive their trucks."
The State Trooper who lost his life in this tragic accident was only 32 years old. In addition to a wife losing her husband, two young children lost their father in what was likely a preventable crash.
If the crash was caused by negligence on the part of the driver or his employer, we must hope that justice will prevail, that the guilty parties are held liable and that the victim's family receives appropriate compensation.
Source: BND.com, "Trooper's family files wrongful death suit," Beth Hundsdorfer, Jan. 9, 2013