Posted On: December 12, 2006 by Christopher T. Hurley

Champaign County, Illinois accident kills Michigan teen standing on highway

In Champaign County, Illinois, a teenager struck and killed a Michigan teen that was standing in the middle of U.S. Highway 136, two miles east of Rantoul, Illinois. The incident occurred at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Monday evening. Illinois State Police said no tickets were issued. According to the Champaign News-Gazette, the Champaign County Coroner would perform an autopsy on the Michigan teen which would include toxicology tests.

Under the Illinois Vehicle Code, 735 ILCS 5/11-1003.1, “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian, or any person operating a bicycle . . . and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or other obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person." Violation of the statute can lead to a traffic citation, as occurred above, and can also serve as a basis for civil liability in a suit for negligence. Illinois courts require specific evidence that a pedestrian is "obviously confused or incapacitated." See Matelis v. City of Chicago, 112 Ill.App.3d 683 (1st Dist. 1983). Once that evidence is found however, such as through autopsy evidence that the pedestrian is drunk or high on drugs, an extraordinary duty is placed on the vehicle driver to avoid the pedestrian.


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