Construction workers whose jobs place them on or along Illinois’ tollways and expressways have among the most dangerous jobs there are. Not only are they working with heavy, potentially dangerous equipment, but they’re near or in the midst of fast-moving traffic. While drivers are instructed to slow down when approaching construction areas, not everyone heeds those directions.
On Sept. 14, a 59-year-old man was fatally struck by a driver who reportedly crossed into a construction zone in the northbound lanes of the Tri-State Tollway (Interstate 294) near Rosemont, even though the area where the man was working was closed to traffic. The driver also struck an unoccupied vehicle parked in the construction zone.
The tragedy occurred close to the Interstate 90 interchange, not far from O’Hare International Airport, at about 10:15 p.m.
According to a tweet posted by a WGN reporter, the man who was killed was a flagger who was working at the site where damaged concrete was being replaced. She noted that the decedent had three children.
The crash is still being investigated by authorities. So far, no results from the driver’s toxicology reports have been reported. Therefore, it’s not known whether alcohol or drugs may have been a factor. No arrests were reported.
According to the latest data available from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHA), the number of construction zone crashes has been increasing each year. In 2015, the last year for which data was provided, there was an average of 12 crashes each week in which someone was killed, and 70 in which at least one person was injured.
For victims of these construction-zone crashes and their families, the long-term consequences, both physical and financial, can be devastating. Determining who is at fault — the driver, the construction company, government agencies and others — can be complicated.
However, it’s essential to seek the compensation you need and deserve from the responsible parties. An experienced Illinois construction accident attorney can provide much-needed guidance and assistance.