GRUNDY COUNTY, Illinois- 68-year-old Thomas Piekarczyk was pronounced dead following a collision between his vehicle and a box truck on Interstate 55.
According to initial reports, Piekarczyk’s vehicle was parked along the right shoulder of southbound Interstate 55 for unknown reasons. A box truck, also traveling south, crashed into the back of Piekarczyk’s vehicle and pushed it into a ditch and then a field of corn.
The crash is currently being investigated by the Illinois State Police.
No further information was immediately available.
Potential remedies in rear-end collisions available to the surviving family
No one pulls their vehicle onto the shoulder of a highway unless something is wrong. Someone in the vehicle may be sick, there may have been a mechanical failure of some sort, or the driver may need to take an urgent phone call. Whatever the reason, drivers finding themselves in that situation should be able to expect that other drivers are being vigilant and will notice them. We want to send our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Mr. Piekarczyk in the wake of the loss of their loved one. The family deserves an independent legal investigation that will identify all potential cause(s) of this accident quickly and bring any responsible parties to justice.
The first possible cause that jumps out in situations like this, where it seems a driver may not have noticed an obvious obstacle, is distracted driving. Any evidence that the driver may have been inappropriately using their smartphone or any technology in the vehicle would allow the victim’s loved ones an opportunity to recover against the driver.
We would also want to investigate whether the box truck experienced a mechanical failure of some kind. Commercial trucks like this may experience failures of their steer axle tires and/or braking and steering systems. We find that these failures are typically preventable and are often the result of the drivers’ employer failing to conduct routine maintenance that would identify those problems.