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Farmer killed after being rear-ended by tractor trailer

We often discuss the hazards of working in the farm industry on this blog, as it typically is physically demanding and the use powerful, heavy machinery is generally necessary. These factors can and do contribute to many different and tragic accidents across Illinois.

However, farm workers are also at risk of being injured even when their work takes them off the farm. In rural areas across the state, it is not uncommon to see tractors and other types of farm equipment on the road. While other motorists are expected to slow down and give slower-moving vehicles enough room, this doesn't always happen. One recent accident is a devastating reminder that vehicles of all kinds are at risk of getting hit when people don't drive safely.

The accident involved a 75-year-old man on a farm tractor and the driver of a tractor trailer. Reports indicate that the tractor was being driven on Route 154 when it was hit by the truck. The truck driver evidently did not see the tractor and struck it from behind.

According to the Illinois Farm Bureau, tractors typically cannot go faster than 20 mph and are often wider than lanes on the road. Because of this, it is not uncommon to see tractors riding on the shoulder but also crossing over into traffic lanes. Other motorists are expected to slow down when they see these vehicles and pass them only when it is safe and lawful to do so.

In this case, unfortunately, the truck driver failed to do this. As is the case with many accidents involving semi trucks, the driver of the other vehicle sustained the brunt of damages and died from his injuries.

While the uninjured trucker has been cited for not reducing his speed, it is possible that the victim's family may choose to seek further action to hold the trucker accountable. In situations like this, family members can and often do decide to file a wrongful death claim against the party responsible for a fatal accident in order to pursue compensation.

Source: WSIL-TV, "Semi vs. Tractor Accident in Perry County," July 24, 2015

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