Michael McKenna Killed In Coles County Tow Truck Accident On US Route 45 By Coles County 250N

Motorcyclist Michael McKenna, of Mattoon, Died In Tow Truck Accident On US Route 45 By Coles County 250N

Michael McKenna Killed In Coles County Tow Truck Accident On US Route 45 By Coles County 250N

COLES COUNTY, ILLINOIS (May 15, 2022) – A motorcyclist identified as Michael McKenna was killed in a Coles County car accident involving a tow truck on US Route 45.

Coles County police officials are saying that the accident took place before 5:00 p.m. on Thursday. The driver of a tow truck made a left turn onto Coles County 250N directly into the path of Michael McKenna who was on a motorcycle.

The motorcyclist was unable to avoid the collision and was ejected into the roadway. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim.

Michael McKenna was airlifted to the hospital in critical condition. But doctors and nurses were not able to save him.

Police cited the 51-year-old driver of the tow truck for failure to yield and driving out of classification. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Liability In Coles County Tow Truck Accidents

Driving a tow truck is one of the most dangerous jobs that a person can take on. According to the Safety and Health Magazine, “NIOSH researchers found that 191 motor vehicle towing workers were killed between 2011 and 2016, resulting in an annual rate of 42.9 deaths per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. For all other industries, that rate was 2.9 per 100,000 FTEs.” But tow trucks also pose a number of hazards to others as well, especially pedestrians and motorcyclists.

  • Tow truck drivers often work at odd hours when there is less light. It’s easy for them to overlook motorists and pedestrians.
  • Tow trucks have a wide turning radius thereby making side impact collisions more likely.
  • Tow truck drivers are often asked to work long hours and may become dangerously fatigued. The CDC estimates that driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated.

Tow truck drivers will typically need to get a commercial license and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. The type of tow truck that they drive will determine their needed license classification. Many tow truck collisions are due to drivers that make dangerous left turns. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-902), the driver of any vehicle intending to turn left must first yield the right of way to any vehicle traveling from the opposite direction and close enough so as to pose a hazard. Drivers will typically be held at fault if they are hit by any vehicle while making a left turn.

Depending on the facts of any case, liability for a tow truck could extend beyond any driver. The company that employed a tow truck driver could be held at fault for a collision. Generally speaking, companies are vicariously for the negligent actions of their employees – insofar as those worker were operating within the course and scope of their job duties. A company could also be liable if they hired a worker without the proper driver’s license. There are many steps that should be taken after any tow truck accident.

  • Photos of the accident site should be taken.
  • Work records should be reviewed.
  • The police report for the accident should be examined.
  • Medical records should be preserved.

When a tow truck driver is negligent and kills a motorcyclist, they could be held to account through a civil claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover lost wages, medical bills and funeral expenses. Sadly, though, tow truck companies will often fight hard to deny liability for any collision. This is why it’s so important that evidence is properly gathered and documented. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Coles County Tow Truck Accident

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of  Michael McKenna. Any person that may have information about what happened should reach out to police. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of the victim’s family. It is our sincere hope that county officials will consider measures to prevent other collisions at this intersection.

Do you need more information about a Coles County tow truck accident? Our team of personal injury attorneys 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 a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.