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Winter 2017 Illinois Motorcycle Accident Roundup

Last year has proven to be a dangerous one for motorcyclists in Chicago and there have already been a slew of accidents heading into early winter that warrant our attention. Changing weather and temperature have more cyclists taking to the roads and this puts them at risk due to volume. It is important for motorists and lawmakers to contribute when it comes to the protection of motorcycles on the road.

Fall Played Witness to a Rash of Accidents

We witnessed too many motorcycle accidents for comfort. The devastation wrought upon the victims and their families is life changing, and those who have lost loved ones cannot recover what they’ve lost regardless of compensation.

The devastation wrought upon the victims and their families is life changing, and those who have lost loved ones cannot recover what they’ve lost regardless of compensation. Here are some of the most high profile accidents we have seen so far.

  • Keith Berry and a female passenger collided with a truck in Godfrey, killing Berry and sending the passenger into critical condition. Both Berry and his rider were thrown from the bike during the accident, which was ruled the fault of the truck driver, for failure to yield at an intersection. The investigation into the matter is still ongoing. Keith Berry was 58 years old. The identity of the female passenger has not been disclosed.

  • A multi-bike accident was reported in Walworth County when a McHenry man collided with another motorcycle heading in the same direction. The 57-year-old driver, Timothy Adkins, was killed in the accident while the other two people involved escaped without any injuries. The Walworth County Sheriff’s office is still investigating the incident and while no official reports have been released, it is suspected that the accident was the fault of Adkins, who lost control of his bike while taking a curve.

  • An Effingham resident, Juan Vasquez was traveling northbound on Route 45 near I-57 and was struck by a vehicle exiting the expressway. Vasquez was thrown violently from his bike when Emily Garriot was turning southbound onto Route 45. Officers at the scene cited her for failure to yield, deeming her most likely at fault for the accident. When emergency responders reached the scene, Vasquez was unresponsive and not breathing. After performing CPR, they were able to resuscitate him. He was taken to Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in critical condition.

  • A 54-year-old man was killed in a motorcycle accident in Palatine when he entered an intersection on a green light at Rand Road and Winslowe Drive. An 89-year-old driver from Mount Prospect made a left turn into his path. The motorcyclist was killed in the accident and the autopsy concluded the cause of death to be blunt trauma to the head. His family has filed a lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle for wrongful death and is seeking compensation in excess of $50,000.

  • An off-duty Chicago police officer was returning home at 2 AM when a driver ran a red light, striking and killing the officer. The victim, Charles Barango was an experienced member of the SWAT team and a technical adviser for the TV crime show, “Chicago PD.” He was responsible for providing martial arts training to cast members. In addition to contributing 14 years of service as a tactical unit officer in the 5th district, he was also an esteemed member of the community, dedicating time to volunteer work with Rush University Medical Center, where he provided support to brain surgery patients. The driver responsible for his death is currently facing criminal charges.

These five incidents serve as a precautionary tale for motorists and motorcyclists alike. 

Copyright © 2020, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers


About this Author

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Personal Injury Lawyer, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

I’m an Illinois lawyer with a nationwide practice who represents members of our society who have been seriously injured or killed due to the irresponsible acts of an individual or company. The injured have the same rights as everyone else — to be treated with compassion and respect— but their vulnerability means they need special protection and representation against those who injure, neglect or abuse them. This is my life’s work.

I recognize that an injured person has one opportunity to get the compensation that the law allows. I am fully dedicated and mindful of this...