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Failure to stop at Ill. crossroads may have caused fatal crash

A Kankakee County crash took the life of a fourth-grade girl and hospitalized four people including the child's father and two other children. Illinois State Police say the fatal car accident happened when one of two drivers ran a stop sign on Route 50.

The driver of a Hyundai, the father of the New Lenox girl who died, was traveling with his 9- and 11-year-old daughters. Both girls were seated in the back of the car when their father allegedly failed to stop; leading to the fatal car crash with a GMC.

The youngest victim was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Her elder sister survived with bumps and bruises. The 11-year-old was due to be released a few days following the accident. The girls' father suffered multiple, serious injuries including a collapsed lung and fractured ribs. Doctors performed surgery to remove the man's spleen.

The GMC driver, a 22-year-old man, and a 1-year-old boy remain hospitalized for injuries received in the accident. Medical updates on the victims in the second vehicle were not released.

No charges have been lodged against the severely-injured father, although state police have not completed their investigation of the crash. Investigators will want to determine why the Hyundai driver neglected to stop at the posted sign at Route 50. Toxicology tests may be conducted to rule out the use of drugs or alcohol. Police could examine information in the driver's cellphone for recorded text messages or calls made around the time of the accident.

Police will find out how fast the Hyundai was moving when it entered the intersection and interview witnesses to the crash. The resulting information may not lead to criminal charges, but the evidence could appear separately in civil court.

A liability lawsuit may be filed by the GMC driver and the relatives of the injured toddler. A civil court can help accident victims recover economic losses for temporary and permanent medical bills and lost wages.

Source: newlenox.patch.com, "New Lenox Girl Dies in Fatal Car Crash in Kankakee County," Ann C. Piasecki, Oct. 15, 2012

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