$3.75 million settlement reached in I-57 fatality
CHICAGO — A $3.75 million settlement has been reached in the death of a Chicago resident who was killed in a traffic accident on Interstate 57 near Ludlow last fall.
Keith Terry Jr., 22, was killed when the car he was driving was struck in the rear by a semitrailer truck.
Terry was stopped in the southbound lanes due to an earlier traffic accident when a truck driven by William Michael Weaver, 53, of Lebanon, Mo., struck his four-door passenger car in the rear, pushing it into the rear of another semitrailer truck, driven by Michael Stephen Jackson, 33, of Yuba City, Calif., at 2:24 p.m. Nov. 16.
Matthew Williams, attorney with the law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard PC, Chicago, said his firm reached the agreement on behalf of Mr. Terry's family with Weaver's employer — ATS Specialized of Gary, Ind.
Williams said Mr. Terry was headed from Chicago to Champaign to visit his girlfriend, who was a student at the University of Illinois.
He said Mr. Terry had slowed because of an earlier accident on the interstate when he was struck by the semi.
Illinois State Police said Mr. Terry had to be cut out of his vehicle.
Williams said the attorneys for the semi truck driver "essentially admitted he was going 55 mph when he hit the back of the car that Keith Terry was driving."
"There was no dispute that if the case went to trial that the plaintiff would win," Williams said. "The driver said he told police he looked up and saw the car and couldn't turn or stop in time. We don't know why he was looking down."
Weaver was ticketed for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.
Neither truck driver was injured.
Williams said the law firm was retained by Mr. Terry's mother, Vera Wahls. He said Mr. Terry was her only child.