It’s been three days since we learned about the crash that killed Grace and Emil Diewald. For three days, we’ve been combing the news, trying to learn more about what happened in that collision.
This is what we know.
We know that police have said they won’t release any more details until their investigation is complete, and we know that the investigation cannot be rushed – but still we look for news.
We know that a Lexus SUV either “struck,” “slammed,” or “collided with” the back of a school bus, depending on which news source we read. We know that a brother and sister were pronounced dead at the scene, with the initial findings citing blunt force trauma as the cause. We know the driver was injured, and that there was a third passenger who had to be airlifted into Chicago because her injuries were life-threatening.
We know all the children on the bus, as well as the school bus driver, are safe – a small silver lining in an otherwise tragic event.
We know there’s a GoFundMe set up for the family.
We know there is no word in the English language to describe parents whose only children have died.
This is what we do not know:
- If drugs or drinking was involved.
- If the driver was distracted.
- If anyone was wearing a seat belt.
- If the bus came to an abrupt halt.
- If the weather played a role.
- If the car’s brakes failed.
It’s hard to wrap your head around a story like this – and when you live and work in Chicago, stories like this are fairly common. We’re talked about local tragedies before: hit-and-runs, wrong-way crashes, building collapses, drunk driving collisions. All of them are awful, but some, we admit, are harder to hear about. Fatal accidents on or near holidays are incredibly tough; anything involving children is even tougher.
So why keep talking about them?
Surely, there are other pieces of the law we could discuss – things we think would be helpful for the average person to know in case they ever get hurt. Those types of topics are, admittedly, easier to discus, too. We’ve been working with the injured for decades, and we can get really granular about a lot of nerdy legal issues, from aphasia from brain trauma to electronic logging devices in truck accident claims to the most common pelvic injuries from falls on stairs vs. falls on sidewalks.
We can talk about insurance (and we do, literally: take a listen) and policy limits, or get into the details about implied vs. expressed warranties. We’ve got some pretty funny stories about cases, too, as well as some truly lovely ones, where people finally got the justice they so richly deserved after their whole lives were turned upside down.
It would be a lot easier to talk about these things. But we didn’t get into the practice of law because it’s easy. We did it to help people.
And we believe that talking about tragedies in our community IS helpful; not only does it allow all of us to process what is happening, but it forces us to acknowledge the world around us. We cannot allow ourselves to be desensitized to death, even if it makes us sad or uncomfortable, or breaks our hearts over and over again. Because if we do, then we have to give up hope, too.
And we’ll never, ever give up hope.
Look – the next two months will be hectic.
There’s an election coming up, and the non-stop ads (and calls and emails and texts) can be frustrating, and the final tallies will take time.
The holiday season is upon us, which is exciting and distracting (and anxiety-inducing). There are going to be a lot of people in the city, and the commutes are going to get worse once the college kids are home.
It’s about to get bitterly cold in the Windy City, and inflation is still high.
None of this has ANYTHING to do with the practice of law, we know. But when it’s hard to concentrate on any one thing, we issue our urgent plea – as Chicagoans, as lawyers, as family members – to all of you.
- Be careful when you’re driving. Put your seat belt on, keep your eyes on the road, follow the speed limits, use your headlights.
- Be aware of what’s happening around you. There’s a whole world passing around us each and every day; see it for what it is.
- Be generous with your time. The time we give one another is time well-spent. It is one of our most precious commodities. Share it gladly with those you love.
And most of all, be safe. The world is a better place with you in it.
Gainsberg Law is based in Chicago. Our injury attorneys represent clients throughout Illinois. If you or your loved one was injured, let us help. Please call or fill out our contact form for more information.
Neal S. Gainsberg has spent the last 20 years fighting to protect the rights of the injured in Chicago and throughout Illinois. From consumer rights and bankruptcy to catastrophic injuries and wrongful death, Mr. Gainsberg stands up to large corporations, insurance companies, creditors and hospital administrators to ensure that his clients’ futures are safe and secure. Learn More