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Alleged wrong-way drunken driver causes multi-car accident

Illinois residents know that accidents caused by drunken drivers often result in injuries and death because alcohol slows a driver's reaction time, impairs judgment and leads to poor decisions. Drunken drivers often cannot maintain a consistent speed, run stop signs and stoplights, change lanes too frequently and pass other vehicles where they should not. Any one of these behaviors can cause an accident. Drivers who are caught driving while intoxicated almost always face criminal charges and, depending on whether there has been an accident, civil liabilities.

In Bolingbrook a 24-year-old woman has been charged with driving under the influence after she allegedly drove the wrong way on the Stevenson Parkway and crashed into two vehicles around 2:00 a.m. just south of Route 53. According to the Illinois State Police, the woman's Ford Explorer hit a Toyota Siena and a Chevrolet Avalanche driven by a 60-year-old man. The force of the collision caused the Avalanche to overturn, trapping the driver inside. Two motorists who witnessed the crash helped get the man out of his pickup. ISP officers said that all three drivers, including the suspected drunken driver, suffered injuries that were described as non-life threatening. The alleged drunken driver had a clean record except for a seatbelt violation that she had not paid at the time of the accident.

Personal injury claims often arise after drunk driving accidents because negligence is typically determined to be a contributing factor. Following most drunk driving crashes, investigators put together various accounts from victims and witnesses to determine how the accident happened and which party caused it.

In addition to whatever criminal penalties a drunk driver might face, the driver may also be held liable in civil court for damages, injuries and fatalities.

Source: Abc7chicago.com, "Wrong-way driver Yarelie Melgarejo charged with DUI in 3-vehicle crash on I-55," June 27, 2014

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