Deadly South Side Crash Involved Four Cars, and Happened in Broad Daylight

Deadly South Side Crash Involved Four CarsA four-vehicle crash in the South Side has left one family in mourning, as a passenger in one of the vehicles succumbed to her injuries. According to ABC 7, the collision happened close to the intersection of 87th Street and Western Avenue, right by the bus stop.

Per the news, “A 36-year-old woman was driving a sedan westbound on 87th Street when she tried to make a left turn onto Western Avenue, police said. Another driver, identified only as male, was driving an SUV eastbound on 87th Street and struck the woman’s sedan on the passenger side, police said.” The sedan then spun out and hit two other cars before it smashed into a fire hydrant.

It was the passenger in that sedan who died. The driver survived, as did the drivers of two other vehicles. The driver of the SUV – the one who caused this whole tragic mess – took off. The news hasn’t reported whether they caught anyone yet, but we’re hoping they do.

As regular readers of our blog know, we track hit-and-run accidents in Chicago; we don’t write about all of them (we literally couldn’t; there aren’t enough hours in the day) but we keep our eye on the news. Part of the reason is because we represent hit-and-run victims in lawsuits, but the other part is that we live here: these are our streets, too. This is our community. So, we take these types of deadly crashes – and the City’s underwhelming response to them – personally.

This one, however, caught our eye for an entirely different reason: the time of day.

Most car accidents do occur during the day

Folks often assume that car crashes are more likely at night or in the evening. It makes sense: it’s darker outside, even with the lights. But in Chicago, at least, it’s way more common for you to get into a crash in the middle of the day.

According to the most recent data set for crashes in the Chicago Data Portal, there have been 14,997 car accidents in the City this year. That’s a lot, but the good news is that most of them (12,766, to be exact) no one got hurt. We wanted to see when most of these crashes happened, and it turns out, the most dangerous times of day in Chicago are from 8:00am to 9:00am (the morning commute) and from 3:00pm to 4:00pm (when school typically lets out plus the beginning of the evening commute).

(The graph uses military time. so that “15” is actually “3:00pm.”)

At quick glance, daytime has more crashes, and is therefore more dangerous.

Except, of course, that most cars are on the road during the day, right? It makes sense that there are more crashes when there are more cars on the roads. What we can’t extrapolate from this data is the percentage of accidents. We know that, based on the data, there were 162 accidents this year that occurred between the hours of 2:00am and 3:00am. What we don’t know is, were there 162 cars on the road at that time? How many of those drivers were drunk, or high, or distracted? Where were they driving at the time – on a well-lit highway or in a neighborhood?

The point is, we don’t actually know if daytime driving is more dangerous than nighttime driving. We just know that most crashes happen:

  • In daylight (9,250)
  • On clear days (10,637)
  • On dry roads (9,485)
  • For an indeterminate primary reason (6,047)

What about hit-and-runs?

The Chicago Data Portal’s datasets showed similar percentages for daytime hit-and-runs as they did for daytime crashes in general, which was also surprising (at first glance). It’s one thing to take off in the middle of the night and hope to avoid the cops; it’s quite another to do what this driver did, and flee from a multi-vehicle crash in broad daylight. There are cameras everywhere, and it’s easier for humans – drivers, passengers, pedestrians, etc. – to see you in the day.

But again, the data may not be telling the full story. One of the columns you can review for car crashes in the City Data Portal is damages (as in, how much monetary cost is associated with the wreck). Another data set lets you look at the type of crash: head-on, rear-end, sideswipe, and so forth. When you start to compile the data this way, you realize that quite a few of these hit-and-runs involve minimal damage and parked cars. And while we do not like it, we can admit that it’s probably much easier to drive off after you’ve hit a parked car and hope that you’re not identified.

What should I do after a multi-car accident?

The first thing to do is call 9-1-1. You want police there, and calling 9-1-1 means ambulances, too. You’re going to need medical attention even if you don’t think you’re that hurt. Sometimes the shock or the adrenaline can hide symptoms of injury, so you should seek help.

Once your treatment plan is set, then it’s time to call a Chicago car accident lawyer. We understand you might feel tempted to just let your insurance company handle the claim if you were not at fault, but we advise against that. Their job isn’t to ensure that you get all the help you need. It’s certainly not to fight for a just or fair settlement for you. Multi-vehicle crashes involve multiple insurance companies, and none of them want to pay. It’s a complicated process – one that we’ll handle on your behalf if you choose Gainsberg Injury and Accident Lawyers to represent you.

You don’t have to do this alone. Call our Chicago car accident attorneys today or fill out our contact form. We have decades of experience handling all types of car crash cases, including hit-and-runs, multi-car wrecks, uninsured/underinsured claims, and more.