Cecilia Cascone Killed in Bureau County, IL, 18-wheeler Accident
Bureau County, IL -- May 3, 2017, Cecilia Cascone was killed and a trucker is facing charges after an accident where an 18-wheeler and an SUV collided.
Authorities from the Illinois State Police reported that the incident occurred around 9:15 a.m. along I-80, just west of Ladd.
According to their preliminary investigations, 44-year-old Tariq Khan was driving an 18-wheeler along the westbound lanes of the interstate. For reasons which police have not yet determined, the 18-wheeler lost control and drifted off the left side of the highway.
It continued through the median into eastbound traffic lanes, resulting in a head-on collision with an oncoming SUV driven by 69-year-old Cascone.
Cascone suffered fatal injuries in the accident, and she was pronounced dead at the scene. Khan was transported to St. Margaret's for treatment of unspecified injuries.
Authorities say they are considering charges, though the nature of the charges are unclear.
Map of the Area
Reports have been saying that there are charges pending against Mr. Khan for crossing over the median, though it's not entirely clear what those charges are. Depending on what crime police believe Mr. Khan committed, this accident could become much more complex than it already is. Most people are going to see a truck driver being charged as an automatic victory for victims and their families seeking compensation. The reality, however, is that certain charges can give insurance companies an advantage in avoiding liability.
Most insurance policies are only designed to cover damages that are the result of unintentional acts. While there are plenty of crimes which don't require intent, sometimes, depending on the factors contributing to the crash, truck drivers can be charged with committing an intentional act. I know this sounds a bit like splitting hairs, but the ramification of an accident versus an intentional act has huge repercussions for victims, given how insurance policies are written.
When an injury results from an intentional act, insurance companies will throw up their hands and say, "Sorry, we only cover accidents, not intentional crimes." If this argument proves successful, insurance companies can entirely avoid liability, leaving the victims without a dedicated source of money to recover damages from.
There is a bit of a silver lining here, however, so don't let this make you think it's impossible to hold someone accountable for the accident. Considering they're businesses, most trucking companies have assets which can be used to cover the damages resulting from an accident. So even if an insurance company manages to weasel their way out of responsibility, the trucking company can still be held accountable for the accident.
All that being said, I don't want to imply this applies specifically to this accident. There just aren't enough details available to the public yet to know one way or the other, but I've seen plenty of incidents where a reckless driver was charged with doing something on purpose that got someone hurt and the complications for victims attempting to recover are always the same. It's important that people know about the possibilities surrounding these types of actions so they can take the steps necessary to prepare themselves and get the aid they need in their search for justice.
--Grossman Law Offices