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Driver who injured 11 at parade claims brakes failed

A driver told police she lost control of her minivan when the brakes failed causing chaos at the start of an Illinois Labor Day parade. The parade had just begun two blocks from the Westville square where crowds of people lined the streets to see the event. The van whipped back and forth along a full bock of Illinois 1 injuring several people.

Reports conflict on the number of people hurt. An initial report put that number at nine, but an update claimed 11 parade goers were struck by the minivan, including four children, ages 1 to 12. Ambulances taking part in the parade were summoned to help the injured.

Commercial-News.com reported seven people were taken by ambulances, while the remaining four people injured were transported to hospitals in other ways. The majority of injuries were not life threatening. However, a 2-year-old girl later was transferred to an Urbana hospital, where authorities said she would recover from skull fractures.

The 61-year-old minivan driver was given a traffic citation for failure to reduce speed. The Catlin resident also was administered a toxicology test, which will inform police whether the woman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The minivan was impounded so investigators could find out whether the driver's failed brakes claim is true.

The determination of fault is crucial in auto accidents involving injuries and deaths. Fault impacts whether and how much insurance companies pay for accident claims. Establishing fault is also central to personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.

In civil claims, injured parties must show an injury was caused by a defendant's negligence. Compensation from these claims covers a victim's accident-related costs like medical expenses and wage losses. Damages awards also reflect projected expenses for a victim's health care in the future.

The sooner an attorney can investigate an accident claim the more quickly a victim may recover compensation.

Source: The News-Gazette, "Ambulances in parade used to transport victims," Tracy Moss and Johnathan Hettinger, Sep. 07, 2015

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