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Wrongful death suit filed in fatal crash with Chicago salt truck

The estate of a Chicago man who died in a three-vehicle crash in late January has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of his five children. The crash occurred on Chicago’s South Side.

According to the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the man who was killed struck the side of a city salt truck at an intersection in the early morning hours of Jan. 27. The front of the SUV the man was driving crumbled upon impact with the truck. Another vehicle then rear-ended the man’s SUV.

The man ended up under that car. He died at the scene. The autopsy listed the cause of death as blunt force trauma.

According to the lawsuit, the salt truck driver ran through a stop sign just before the SUV driver struck the truck. However, the lawsuit names the driver of the car that struck the man as the defendant. The 27-year-old driver fled the scene. The suit, which is asking for at least $100,000 in damages, accuses the man of negligence.

That driver did go to police several hours after he ran away and turned himself in. He’s been charged with failing to report a fatal accident, which is a felony. He’s also facing multiple citations, including not having insurance.

Although neither the city of Chicago nor the salt truck driver was named as a defendant in the suit, they are named as respondents in discovery. The suit claims that they “have information essential to the determination of who should be properly named as additional defendants in this action.” The crash is still under investigation by the CPD Major Accident Investigation Unit.

When truck drivers don’t obey traffic signs and signals, as was apparently the case here, people in smaller vehicles that collide with them can suffer serious and — too often — fatal injuries. When other vehicles become involved in the crash, it can make getting to the bottom of who bears responsibility more complicated. An experienced attorney can work to help ensure that the crash is thoroughly investigated and that the appropriate individuals and entities are held legally responsible.