Jacob Lovell Killed In Champaign Motorcycle Accident On I-74
Wrongful Death - May 8, 2023
Jacob Lovell, of Danville, Died In Champaign Motorcycle Collision Along Interstate 74 After Hitting Pothole
CHAMPAIGN, ILLINOIS (May 8, 2023) – A 24-year-old man identified as Jacob Lovell was killed in a Champaign motorcycle accident along Interstate 74.
Champaign County officials are saying that the accident took place on Saturday night. Jacob Lovell was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle when he hit a pothole which caused him to be thrown into the roadway.
The victim was then hit by a second vehicle after being ejected. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim.
Jacob Lovell was taken to the hospital in critical condition where he was later pronounced dead. A full investigation into the crash remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Illinois Car Accidents Caused By Potholes
Motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable to the hazards caused by dangerous roads and potholes. According to the AAA Newsroom, “15 percent of U.S. drivers (16 million motorists) report sustaining vehicle damage that required repair as a result of [hitting] a pothole at least once in the last five years.” Even a small pothole can cause a motorcyclist or bicyclist to completely lose control of their vehicle. There are a number of reasons that a pothole may form over time.
- Water can begin to seep into cracks in the roadway. During the winter months this water may melt and freeze multiple times thereby creating an ever-expanding crater.
- The grade of the pavement be insufficient for the weight of the vehicles traveling over it. This can lead to the creation of potholes over time.
- Roadways can naturally deteriorate over time which can lead to the creation of potholes.
If a motorcyclist is injured after hitting a pothole, the municipal entity responsible for maintaining the road involved could be liable. Municipal entities in Illinois have a legal obligation to maintain roadways in a reasonably safe manner. Failure to do so could form the basis of a negligence claim. A large number of motorcycle accidents are due to unsafe conditions with a roadway.
Consider, for example, Johnston v. City of East Moline, 405 Ill. 460, 91 N.E.2d 401. The Illinois Supreme Court held “A municipal corporation acts judicially or exercises discretion when it selects and adopts a plan in the making of public improvements, but as soon as it begins to carry out that plan it acts ministerially and is bound to see that the work is done in a reasonably safe and skillful manner.” There are a number of steps that should be taken after any pothole accident.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- Maintenance records for the road involved should be reviewed.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
Far from being “freak occurrences,” pothole accidents are often preventable. They tend to happen when government agencies neglect roads thereby putting motorcyclists and other drivers in danger. The family of any person that is killed in an accident involving a pothole may have legal recourse. It is extremely important that evidence is properly preserved after any incident involving a pothole.
Investigating A Champaign County Motorcycle Accident
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jacob Lovell. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. It is our sincere hope that city officials will take action to fill this pothole so that similar tragedies can be prevented.
Do you need more information about a Champaign pothole accident? Our team of roadway safety advocates are here for you. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that municipal agencies are doing everything in their power to keep our roads safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.