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A combination of reckless driving and treacherous road conditions was the cause of an accident that claimed the life of an 86-year-old man on the morning of Jan. 22 according to the Illinois State Police. The 74-year-old driver of the pickup truck that crossed the center line of U.S. Route 41 and struck an oncoming van head-on has been cited for improper lane usage, failing to reduce speed to prevent an accident and not wearing a seat belt.
The car accident took place in McDonough County near Bushnell at approximately 10:00 a.m. Police say that a southbound Ford F-150 pickup truck lost traction on a patch of ice and crossed into the path of northbound traffic. The pickup truck’s driver and passenger were both ejected in the crash. Initial reports reveal that neither man was properly restrained at the time.
The passenger ejected from the pickup truck was pronounced dead at the scene. Three passengers in the Ford van struck by the pickup truck were transported by ambulance to the McDonough District Hospital with injuries that were described as serious. The driver of the van was taken by helicopter to a trauma center in Peoria.
Experienced motor vehicle accident attorneys may use reckless driving citations to establish liability in personal injury lawsuits. However, the standard of proof is not as strict in civil cases, and plaintiffs often prevail even when the negligent individuals responsible for causing them harm face no official sanctions. In a criminal trial, prosecutors must establish proof beyond any reasonable doubt. In a civil lawsuit, juries must only be convinced that the plaintiff’s allegations are more likely true than false.
Source: NBC 25, “UPDATE: 86-year-old man killed in accident on Illinois Route 41”, Tim Shelley, Jan. 22, 2019