Driver Found to Be Under Influence of Pain Medications
March 5th saw a horrific car crash on in the Chicago South Side neighborhood of Back of the Yards. The driver who caused the multi-car collision is a 45-year-old ranking firefighter for the Orland Fire Protection District. He was traveling at 60 mph in a 35-mph zone, in addition to the fact that he was weaving between lanes. The man was not driving a fire truck, but was actually off duty on an extended leave of absence after suffering an injury in a recent on-the-job accident. His Lincoln Navigator SUV struck the back of a Hummer near an intersection, after which his vehicle flew into the path of oncoming traffic at the intersection where it struck a sedan.
The driver of the Hummer suffered a concussion as well as fractured vertebrae, and the 25-year-old woman driving the sedan suffered fatal injuries. It was not reported whether the firefighter was injured, but he is currently being held in jail on a $250,000 bail. What has been revealed is that the firefighter was driving under the influence of pain medication, evidently to treat his pain while he awaited an upcoming shoulder surgery. Painkillers are now among the most widely-prescribed types of medication in the country, with Vicodin being named as the number one prescription drug, and there were 244.3 million prescriptions written for narcotic painkillers in 2011 alone.
The fact that the firefighter's reckless driving was clearly the cause of the accident is compounded by the fact that he was under the influence of powerful pain medications, and he will most likely be found to be legally liable for the injuries suffered by the accident victims. The Hummer driver may be able to recover financial compensation for a traumatic brain injury and back injury, both of which are likely to require extensive medical treatment and time off work to recover, while the surviving family members of the woman who was killed should be able to file a wrongful death claim. None of them should be forced to pay the price for the reckless negligence of the firefighter who should have known better than to drive after taking a drug which is essentially medical heroin.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident which was caused by another person's wrongful actions, contact Duncan Law Group for a free consultation to discuss your options for taking legal action.