Chicago Metro Crashes Claim Lives, Cause Lawsuits

Auto accident attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report of a recent lawsuit that was filed by a passenger injured in a Megabus accident. The woman was injured when the Megabus slammed into a concrete pillar on its way from Chicago to St. Louis.

Yanxin “Amy” Zhou filed the lawsuit against Megabus, Coach USA, which owns and operates the company, tire manufacturer Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, and the bus driver. The crash occurred on Interstate 55 after a front tire blew out in August 2012. The bus careened out of control and ultimately smashed into a concrete pillar, killing one passenger, a University of Missouri graduate student.

Zhou suffered unspecified injuries that left her permanently disabled and disfigured. Several other passengers sustained injuries in the crash, including the driver, whose foot and face required multiple surgeries. The 25-year-old was a Megabus trainee, but acted with great skill in the crash, even gaining praise from the Illinois State Police. If he had slammed on the brakes after the tire blew or steered in a different manner the double-decker bus certainly would have tipped over.

The driver heard the tire pop and immediately took an extra-tight grip on the steering wheel and took his foot off the accelerator. At the speed the bus was going on the highway, any application of brakes would have caused a roll over.

Just a week before this fatal accident, a Megasbus in downtown Chicago hit and killed a 76-year-old woman. Donna Halstead was the former secretary of previous Illinois Supreme Court Justice Mary Ann McMorrow.

The family of a man who was similarly struck and killed by a Megabus recently settled a wrongful death lawsuit with the company. The family was awarded $5.1 million from the 2010 crash, although Megabus did not admit any wrongdoing. In her lawsuit, Zhou is seeking $50,000 in compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and emotional distress.

In related news, two crashes in the Chicagoland area took three lives this week. One crash occurred in Mundelein and was caused by an over-correction. The other fatalities were the result of a two-vehicle crash near Bolingbrook.

The Bolingbrook crash took place around 3 p.m. and involved a silver Toyota Tundra which struck the driver’s side of a red Ford Taurus. An elderly couple, Daniel and Dimple Simone, 87 and 91, respectively, were in the Ford Taurus, and were pronounced dead at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital. The Toyota driver was taken to another nearby hospital in good condition.

The Mundelein crash killed the driver that caused it and injured two others. Mary Kay Affrunti was heading north in a Mercedes on Gilmer Road when she drove off the shoulder, over-corrected, crossed the center dividing line and hit a blue Honda. The Lake County Sheriff’s Sergeant said there was no evidence of mechanical failure in her automobile and that he crash was consistent with a typical over-correction accident.

A third vehicle veered off Gilmer Road to avoid the crash and hit a tree, fortunately sustaining only minor injuries. The Chief Deputy Lake County Coroner stated that he does not believe Affrunti was driving with any drugs or alcohol in her system, although a toxicology report is still pending.

Car and bus crash lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm encourage anyone seriously injured in a roadway crash to contact a skilled attorney who can inform you of your rights and guide you through the legal process. You may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.

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