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3 killed, 12 injured in tragic 8-car accident

A horrific accident involving eight vehicles led to 12 people with injuries and three deaths south of Hamel, Illinois. The crash occurred on I-55, at about 6:15 p.m. on a recent Tuesday.

A tractor-trailer crashed into the other vehicles while traveling 60 mph. Some of the vehicles were run over by the semi. Many of the injured had to be rescued out of their vehicles. None of the vehicles, according to an Illinois state trooper, were slowed or stopped in traffic before the semi-trailer struck them.

Two of the three victims died at the scene. They were sisters, aged 17 and 20. The other fatality was a student at Missouri Southern State University. She died two days after the crash. Along with five other students and a professor, she was returning from a model United Nations conference held in Chicago.

One of the sisters that died graduated from Staunton High School in 2015 and the other was set to graduate this year. This crash happened two days before the 10th anniversary of another tragic crash that took the lives of two sisters in Illinois on I-64. The at-fault driver in that crash was determined to have been traveling over 120 mph, was using a computer and was talking on a cellphone.

According to one Illinois trooper, "This was probably the worst crash a lot of us on the scene have ever been on. The number of cars. Everywhere you turned and looked, there was another smashed-in, totaled vehicle."

While there are still many unknowns about the cause of this truck accident, those who were injured or the families of those who died have a right to seek compensation for their damages. Wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits may be filed against the truck driver, the trucking company he worked for and possibly other entities and/or individuals. An experienced attorney can help ensure that all possible defendants are named in such lawsuits to ensure that the negligent parties are held accountable.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Sisters from Staunton killed in I-55 crash when trucker plows into traffic," Kim Bell and Nassim Benchaabane, Nov. 23, 2017

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