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Illinois man charged in fatal 'hill-jumping' accident

An Illinois man was recently charged with five counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of reckless homicide. He was allegedly drunk behind the wheel in a November auto accident that killed five people in the vehicle with him while they were reportedly hill-jumping. The practice involves driving over hilly rural roads at high speed with the aim of becoming airborne after cresting the top. The man reportedly lost control of his Chevrolet Trailblazer, sending it flipping over multiple times.

Killed in the crash were a 49-year-old man, his 42-year-old wife, a 35-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter. The fifth victim in the accident was a 23-year-old woman who had been engaged to be married. The sole survivor from the crash was the 16-year-old's father, who was the man charged in the fatal accident.

The four-mile section of two-lane asphalt known around Hamilton County as "thrill hills" was often the site of hill-jumping, according for local authorities. One official with the county sheriff's office said that along the stretch of road are four hills positioned close together, which allows a speeding vehicle to become airborne with a bit of speed. The dead passengers' families believe that this was what the six people was doing when the driver lost control of the SUV.

A fatal drunk driving accident hurts everyone involved, from the victims to the driver. Medical expenses, funeral costs and more damages can result from a negligent driver taking the wheel under the influence of alcohol. The loss of a loved one may never be fully compensated for, but a financial settlement may be able to be worked out in court with the help of an attorney.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "Four from Collinsville among dead in crash along rural 'thrill hills' road," Nov. 25, 2013

Source: St. Louis Today, "Man charged in fatal crash that killed 5 from Metro East", December 06, 2013

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