An Illinois police officer and his canine companion were struck and killed by a DUI driver on Oct. 30. The officer was a U.S. Air Force veteran who had been with the police force since 2007. A statement released by Pontiac police said the officer was an honorable and dedicated man who was deeply committed to law enforcement.
Police say the accident occurred at around 9:30 p.m. on I-55 north of Route 23 when a pickup truck left the road and struck a marked police car in the center crossover. The officer and his police dog were killed in the crash, and the driver of the pickup truck, a 33-year-old South Carolina man, was injured. When the driver was discharged from the hospital a day later, he was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI, and was taken to Livingston County Jail to await arraignment after waiving extradition.
The carnage left in the aftermath of car crashes caused by drunk drivers often leave the families of those killed in these tragic events immobilized and in shock. During this intensely emotional and stressful time, these families will also need to attend to their deceased loved one's final affairs, which may include initiating legal and administrative processes to protect their economic interests.
A family who lose a loved one in a tragic DUI car accident will almost certainly be required to interact with the criminal justice system charged with resolution of the DUI offenses and may wish to engage the civil court system to pursue a wrongful death claim. A plaintiff's attorney with wrongful death experience may be able to help such a family take the actions necessary to protect their right to pursue recovery of their losses within the time limitations prescribed by law.
Source: CBS Chicago, "Driver Charged With DUI In Crash That Killed Downstate Cop, Police Dog", November 01, 2013