Bernard Sawtelle Killed In Rockford DUI Car Accident On Brooke Road

Bernard Sawtelle Died In Rockford Bicycle Accident With Driver Suspected Of DUI on Brooke Road

Bernard Sawtelle Killed In Rockford DUI Car Accident On Brooke Road

ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS (December 4, 2022) – A bicyclist identified as Bernard Sawtelle has tragically died in a Rockford car accident with a pickup truck along Brooke Road.

Winnebago County officials are saying that the collision took place around 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Bernard Sawtelle was riding a bicycle when he was hit by a pickup truck.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim. Bernard Sawtelle was taken to a nearby hospital with major injuries.

Sadly, he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Police arrested the driver of the pickup truck on suspicion of DUI.

A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Liability For Rockford Car Accidents

Driver intoxication remains one of the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. According to the NHTSA, “Every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 45 minutes. In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths — a 14% increase from 2019.” Even small amounts of alcohol below the legal limit can substantially impair a person’s ability to operate their vehicle safely.

  • A blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% may make it difficult for a person to steer straight.
  • A blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% may make it difficult for a driver to concentrate.
  • A blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% may make it difficult for a driver to scan the road ahead of them.

It is illegal for any driver to operate their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-501, no person shall drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. There is a rebuttable presumption of negligence on the part of any driver that hits a pedestrian or cyclists while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Many pickup trucks are used for commercial purposes. If a pickup truck driver was working at the time of a collision, the company that they were working for could be held at fault. Generally speaking, companies are liable for the wrongful actions of their employees – insofar as those employees were working within the course and scope of their job duties. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any collision.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Medical records should be preserve.
  • Surveillance footage should be sought.
  • A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.

It can be difficult to know where to begin after any collision. However, it is important for accident victims to know that they do have rights. They have the right to have their interests taken into consideration. They also have the right to pursue a civil claim if that is what they choose. It is important that all evidence is properly preserved after a collision.

Investigating A Rockford Car Accident

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Bernard Sawtelle. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of the victim’s family.

Do you need more information about a Rockford car accident? Our team of bicycle safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need an investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.