DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Killed In Waterman Semi-Truck Accident

Cook County Officials Investigating Fatal Waterman Semi-Truck Accident That Killed DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy

DeKalb County Sheriff's Deputy Killed In Waterman Semi-Truck Accident

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (March 29, 2024) – A 35-year-old female DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy tragically died in a Waterman semi-truck accident on Illinois Route 23 near Perry Road.

DeKalb County officials are saying that the collision took place on March 28. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy was sitting in her Ford Explorer squad car that was parked on the shoulder of Illinois Route 23.

A large commercial truck left the roadway and rear-ended the squad car. A medical helicopter was called to the scene in order to help the victim.

She was taken to the hospital and later died due to the severity of her injuries. The crash has left the community in mourning.

Prior to becoming a DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy, she served in the Army National Guard and did a tour in Afghanistan from 2018–2019.

Liability For DeKalb County Semi-Truck Accidents

Commercial trucks are involved in thousands of fatal collisions each year. According to the National Safety Council, “In 2021, 5,700 large trucks were involved in a fatal crash, an 18% increase from 2020 and a 49% increase in the last 10 years. The involvement rate per 100 million large-truck miles traveled is up 7% from 2020, and up 22% in the last 10 years.” There are a number of factors that could contribute to a semi-truck accident.

  • Semi-trucks have a wide turning radius, which can increase the likelihood of side-impact collisions.
  • Semi-trucks can weigh as much as 80,000 lbs and can take the length of two football fields to come to a complete stop.
  • Semi-trucks have large blind spots all around that can obscure the presence of smaller vehicles.

Truck drivers are often put under an enormous amount of pressure to complete their routes on time. It is fairly common for truck drivers to become fatigued on their routes. In fact, it has been estimated that nearly 10% of all fatal truck accidents involve a fatigued driver. The Centers for Disease Control have estimated that staying awake for only 18 hours can reduce a person’s ability to drive safely equal to driving with a BAC of 0.05%.

Truck drivers must get a commercial license and are expected to follow all traffic regulations. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-709), “A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety.” There is a rebuttable presumption of negligence on the part of any driver who rear-ends another vehicle. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any truck accident.

  • Eyewitnesses should be interviewed.
  • A police report should be created.
  • The event data recorder of the truck involved should be sought.
  • Surveillance footage should be collected.

The vast majority of semi-trucks are preventable and involve some amount of driver error. This is particularly true when a truck driver leaves their own lane and hits another vehicle. It is also possible that a truck accident may have been caused by a vehicle system failure. Many truck drivers lose control after a tire blowout or other vehicle issue. This is why it is important to examine all evidence after any fatal truck accident.

Investigating Illinois Semi-Truck Accidents

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s deputy who died in this crash. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. This was a preventable tragedy that should have never taken place. Many questions remain unanswered.

Do you need more information about a DeKalb County semi-truck accident? Our team of roadway safety advocates is 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 a free, independent investigation into any incident, we may be able to assist you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.