John Costello Injured In Teutopolis Ammonia Truck Accident

John Costello, Mizzou Club Swim member, Injured In Effingham County Hazardous Materials Truck Accident on U.S. Highway 40

John Costello Injured In Teutopolis Ammonia Truck Accident

TEUTOPOLIS, ILLINOIS (October 7, 2023) – John Costello was identified as one of four members of Mizzou Club Swim injured in a Teutopolis anhydrous ammonia spill.

The spill occurred around 9:25 p.m. on Friday. A tanker truck was involved in a collision with several other vehicles along U.S. Highway 40.

The force of the impact caused the tanker truck to overturn in the road and leak anhydrous ammonia. Five people died in the collision.

Four members of Mizzou Club Swim including John Costello were not directly involved in the crash. But they were close enough that the leaking  anhydrous ammonia gas became an immediate hazard.

All of the students fled the vehicle they were in and ended up becoming trapped in a nearby ditch until first responders arrived. John Costello and several other swim team members were eventually rescued and airlifted to the hospital.

A GoFundMe has been created to help all of the members of Mizzou Club Swim. You can also support John Costello through a GoFundMe set up specifically for him and his family.

According to the online fundraiser, “The purpose of this fundraiser is to ease the financial burden of the Costello family as they navigate through this very difficult time. Rita Costello, John’s mother, is well-known as Arbor Creek Elementary’s beloved librarian.”

Liability For Effingham County Truck Accidents

There are a number of factors that could contribute to any truck accident. According to the FMCSA, “Motor vehicle crashes are complex events. Usually they involve two or more vehicles. Elements that influence the occurrence of a crash may take place hours, days, or months before the crash. They include driver training and experience, vehicle design and manufacture, highway condition and traffic signaling, and weather conditions.” Truck drivers should take a number of steps in order to avoid collisions.

  • Truck drivers should check their blind spots before making turns.
  • Truck drivers should be well rested before heading out onto the road.
  • Truck drivers must maintain a safe follow distance with other vehicles ahead of them.

Driving a commercial truck is much more difficult than driving a passenger vehicles. Many truck accidents are due to truck drivers that make dangerous lane changes. 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.” Truck drivers that carry hazardous materials must follow a number of unique regulations.

  • Trucks carrying hazardous materials must have warning signs on all sides of the truck.
  • Truck drivers that transport hazardous materials must get additional training.
  • Trucks carrying hazardous materials will usually need to travel at reduced speeds.

Anhydrous ammonia can be particularly hazardous. Extended exposure can cause severe injuries to a person’s lungs, eyes and throat. Sadly, though, it is common for truck companies to deny all liability if one of their drivers is involved in a collision. This is why it is so important that evidence is properly preserved after any incident. Any person that is injured in a chemical spill accident may be able to seek some measure of justice through a bodily injury claim.

Investigating Effingham County Chemical Spill Accidents

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our best wishes to John Costello and all of the members of Mizzou Club Swim as they continue to recover. It is our sincere hope that all involved will be able to make a full recovery. This was a preventable tragedy that should never have taken place.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured in an Effingham County chemical spill? Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to assist you in any way that we can. We are committed to getting accident victims the support that they need in order to recover. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.