Three Killed by Drunk Wrong-Way Highway Driver in Southern Illinois — Belleville Illinois Car Accident Attorney

By February 24, 2009Auto Accidents

A St. Louis family lost two of its members a fatal car crash near Edwardsville, Ill. Feb. 5. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Tawanda Jackson and her two children, nine-year-old Arnold and 11-year-old Takia, were headed home from Tennessee to attend her grandmother’s funeral, along with Jackson’s friend, Jon Moss. Authorities told the Bloomington Pantagraph that the other driver, Newton Keene, was drunk and driving without a license when he drove the wrong way on Illinois 255, crashing into Jackson’s car and killing her, Arnold Jackson and Moss. Takia Jackson remained hospitalized Feb. 6.
In fact, the Bloomington paper reported that Keene had six previous intoxicated driving convictions in Illinois and Missouri, as well as two convictions for driving without a valid license. Local law enforcement agencies also told the paper that Keene had been pulled over three times for driving on the wrong side of the road while drunk. Despite all of this, he had never served more than 120 days in jail. In fact, he had petitioned the State of Missouri to restore his license, a matter that would have been heard Feb. 9.
Public education efforts have done a lot to reduce drunk driving over the past three decades. According to research by the federal Department of Transportation, 48% of drivers involved in fatal crashes had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher in 1982, the first year for which this record was kept. In 2007, that percentage was 32%. Education and outreach have eliminated many casual drunk drivers, making chronic or repeat offenders like Keene the majority of DUI offenders.
Drunk driving is illegal, of course, and it can and should be prosecuted as a crime. But when the criminal justice system fails to stop a drunk driver from hurting the innocent people around him or her, victims also have the option of filing a Missouri or Illinois car accident lawsuit. A lawsuit won’t send anyone to jail, but it helps victims recover the often substantial financial costs of a drunk driving accident, including hospital bills, repair costs and sometimes funeral costs. It can also help victims win compensation for their non-financial injuries, such as the loss of a loved one, a permanent disability or lifelong scarring from serious burns.
Carey, Danis & Lowe can help. Based in St. Louis, our experienced auto accident attorneys help clients in Missouri and southern Illinois who were seriously hurt in motor vehicle accidents caused by someone else’s carelessness. If you believe you or someone you love has a claim and you’d like to know more about your options, we offer free consultations. To set up a free evaluation of your case with our experienced Missouri car wreck lawyers, please contact us online as soon as possible or call 1-877-678-3400, toll-free.