Chicago Auto Accident Law Firm Coplan & Crane Comments on Fatal, 46-Car Accident on Interstate 94

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Chicago car accident attorneys Gregory F. Coplan and Benjamin A. Crane of Coplan & Crane discuss report about recent 46-car accident on I-94, one of the top 10 “deadliest highways” in America

Devastating car and truck accidents like this remind us just how dangerous highways like Interstate 94 can be, especially during winter. Snow, ice and whiteout conditions can make driving nearly impossible in the Midwest.

A 65-year-old Chicago man and two other people were killed in a pileup involving more than 40 vehicles, including 18 semi-trucks, on Interstate 94 in Indiana in near-blizzard conditions, according to the Chicago Tribune, a story that illustrates how dangerous winter driving can be in the Midwest, according to Chicago personal injury lawyer Gregory F. Coplan of Coplan & Crane law firm. An eyewitness said the wreck started when a tractor-trailer began sliding on the road and jackknifed, crashing into another semi. Several cars were crushed between the trucks and some slid underneath them.

Coplan based his comments on multiple reports in the media, including an article published in the Chicago Tribune about the incident. (Chicago Tribune, “Interstate 94 reopened after wreckage cleared from pile-up,” Jan. 24, 2014)

“Devastating car and truck accidents like this remind us just how dangerous highways like Interstate 94 can be, especially during winter,” Coplan said. “Snow, ice and whiteout conditions can make driving nearly impossible in the Midwest. That’s why drivers need to exercise extreme caution whenever weather conditions become treacherous. Avoid the roads if you can during extreme weather events. If you have to drive, make sure your car is winter ready and drive for the conditions. Pull over, if it’s too difficult to see. Our attorneys have seen first-hand the devastating impact of winter weather car accidents in Chicago. It only takes one small mistake by one driver to cause a massive, chain-reaction accident like the one that happened on I-94.”

The 46-vehicle accident on I-94 occurred during the afternoon on Jan. 23 in Michigan City, Indiana, according to the Chicago Tribune. According to police interviewed by the Chicago Tribune, the accident began soon after a burst of lake-effect snow from nearby Lake Michigan reduced visibility on I-94 to less than 10 feet in a matter of seconds.

Part of Interstate 94 has a reputation for being an extremely dangerous road. The Illinois portion of I-94 that passes through Chicago was ranked among the top 10 deadliest highways in America. Specifically, The Daily Beast website ranked I-94 in Illinois the seventh deadliest highway in the country based on a comprehensive study of fatal car accident statistics for highways nationwide. (The Daily Beast, “America’s 100 Deadliest Highways,” May 31, 2010)

“Federal law requires truck drivers to use ‘extreme caution’ when dangerous driving conditions like snow or ice adversely affect visibility or traction,” according to Chicago truck accident attorney Ben Crane. “Even though commercial truck drivers are typically trying to reach their destinations on a schedule, that does not mean they can disregard public safety just to arrive on time.

Because semi-trucks are bigger and heavier, they just don’t stop as quickly or maneuver as well as cars, especially when the weather is bad, so truckers have to be even more careful when they encounter hazardous road conditions. If drivers cause accidents because of their careless or reckless behavior, they need to be held accountable. That’s what we do at Coplan & Crane every day. We fight for justice for injury victims.”

For more information about what to do after a car or truck accident in Illinois and the legal options available to families, call (800) 394-6002 or complete the online contact form.

About Coplan & Crane

Serving clients in Oak Park, Chicago and all of Illinois, Coplan & Crane handles a wide range of cases, including car accidents, truck accidents, bus accidents, railroad accidents, workplace injuries, dangerous products, medical malpractice and birth injuries. The law firm has a strong track record for obtaining large verdicts and settlements, including several, high-profile, multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts. A free consultation is available to all interested clients. The law firm works on a contingency fee basis. That means people only pay if they win.

Coplan & Crane
1111 Westgate Street
Oak Park, Illinois 60301
(800) 394-6002

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