Shannon Watkins Killed In Shelbyville Semi-Truck Accident By Illinois Route 128 and Main Street

Shannon Watkins, 58, Died In Shelbyville Big Rig Truck Accident By The Intersection of Illinois Route 128 and Main Street

Shannon Watkins Killed In Shelbyville Semi-Truck Accident By Illinois Route 128 and Main Street

SHELBYVILLE, ILLINOIS (July 6, 2022) – A pedestrian in a wheelchair identified as Shannon Watkins was killed in a Shelbyville semi-truck accident by Illinois Route 128 and Main Street.

Shelby County police officials are saying that the pedestrian accident took place around 1:52 p.m. on Friday, July 1. Shannon Watkins was in a wheelchair and attempting to cross the roadway when she was hit by a semi-truck making a right-hand turn.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim. Shannon Watkins was taken to a local area hospital. But she was beyond medical support and died due to the severity of her injuries.

Police interviewed the 53-year-old semi-truck driver who remained at the scene. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

Liability In Shelbyville Semi-Truck Accidents

Pedestrians in wheelchairs are particularly at risk for being involved in car accidents.  According to one study by Georgetown University Medical Center, “An investigation into how often wheelchair users are killed in car-pedestrian crashes finds they are a third more likely to die than non-wheelchair users; more than half of those deaths occur at intersections.” Semi-trucks pose a number of unique hazards to pedestrians.

  • Semi-trucks have large blind spots all around the vehicle. These blind spots are especially pronounced in the front and sides of a truck.
  • A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh 80,000 lbs. Even a low impact collision can be catastrophic.
  • Semi-trucks take much longer to stop than other vehicles.

Truck drivers are typically forced to work at all hours of the night and day. It is not uncommon for them to become dangerously fatigued. According to the Centers for Disease Control, driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. 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 are required to take mandatory breaks and limit their work hours. But these rules are not always followed.

Truck drivers must get a commercial license and are held to a high standard in terms of safety. Many collisions are due to truck drivers that fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/11-1002), all drivers must yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a lawfully marked crosswalk. If a driver hits a pedestrian after going past a yield sign without yielding, this may be considered prima facie evidence of their failure to yield.

Depending on the facts of any case, liability for a pedestrian accident could extend beyond the at-fault driver. If a truck driver was working at the time of a collision, the company that they were working for could be held at fault. Generally speaking, employers are liable for the wrongful acts 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 semi-truck accident.

  • The employment status of the truck driver should be determined.
  • Photos of the accident site should be taken.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • A thorough, independent investigation should be conducted.

When a truck driver is negligent and hits a pedestrian, they can be held at fault for the collision. Family members of the victim may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover many of the unexpected expenses that come with the sudden loss of a loved one. Sadly, though, truck companies will often fight hard to deny liability for any collision. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.

Investigating A Shelbyville Semi-Truck Accident

We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Shannon Watkins. 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. It is our sincere hope that city officials will consider measures to prevent other tragedies at this intersection.

Do you need more information about a Shelbyville truck accident? Our team of pedestrian 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 a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.