Two people are dead following a five-vehicle head-on accident in west suburban Bartlett, IL, according to authorities.
Driver Crossed Into Oncoming Traffic
On September 25, 2018, at approximately 5:50 a.m., the unidentified 23-year-old driver of a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt was traveling west on Stearns Road, at or near Munger Road. The driver then reportedly crossed into oncoming traffic, hitting a 2015 Nissan Altima and a 2012 Range Rover head on.
Debris from the crash struck two other vehicles, a 2007 Toyota Camry waiting to turn left and a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro heading west on Stearns Road.
The Altima’s driver, 40-year-old Christopher Arbeen of South Elgin, was pronounced dead at the scene of the head-on accident by the DuPage County Coroner’s Office.
A passenger in the Cobalt, Miguel Flores, 23, was pronounced dead at 4:00 p.m. at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, where he had been rushed from the scene with “critical injuries.”
The Land Rover’s 54-year-old driver, the Cobalt’s 23-year-old driver, and the 20-year-old driver of the Camaro were taken to Winfield’s Central DuPage Hospital for what police called nonlife-threatening injuries.
Bartlett Police Deputy Chief Geoffrey Pretkelis said that no charges have been filed yet and that the head-on accident remains under investigation.
Head-On Accident Facts
The combined speeds of two vehicles colliding into each other head on can cause an extraordinarily violent impact, leading to serious injuries and even death. While statistics show that only two percent of crashes are head-on collisions, such crashes account for 10.1 percent of driving fatalities. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the head-on accident is the most common type of automobile crash resulting in fatalities.
The reason for the greater rate of fatality for head-on accidents is that the relative velocity of two moving vehicles can be higher. For example, a head-on accident between two vehicles traveling at 50 miles per hour is equivalent to a vehicle running into a stationary vehicle while traveling at 100 miles per hour. The severity of such collisions accounts for their impact.
The likelihood of fatality is especially high in the case of wrong-way collisions on high-speed highways when one vehicle veers into the opposite lane of traffic and strikes another fast-moving vehicle.
Illinois Personal Injury Attorneys
Pursuing litigation to obtain financial compensation in the case of a head-on accident can be challenging, however. As in all personal injury cases, one has to show negligence on the part of the other driver in order to recover. To prove negligence, one has to demonstrate a duty of care, a breach of that duty, causation, and damages.
Nevertheless, it can be especially difficult to prove who was responsible for a head-on accident, since the force of the collision may send both vehicles in different directions, thereby causing them to come to rest in different positions than they were in at the time of impact. One may need to consult a forensic engineer or an accident reconstruction specialist to figure out who was at fault or what happened based on skid marks, debris patterns, and other evidence.
For this reason, those who have been injured in a head-on accident often choose to enlist the services of an experienced attorney, such as the Illinois personal injury attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers.
GWC is Illinois’ largest Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firm. We have recovered over $2 Billion for our clients and offices throughout the state.
If you have been injured in a head-on accident, please contact GWC to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. Call us at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives at any time.