As a St. Louis motor vehicle accident attorney, I was sorry to read that a motorcyclist in southern Illinois lost his life to a crash. The Alton Telegraph reported Nov. 16 that James T. Selby of Alton, Ill. died in emergency surgery after sustaining serious injuries just hours before. Selby was riding on Milton Road when a driver, 19-year-old Christopher Dickerson, reportedly pulled out in front of him. The ensuing crash left Selby with serious injuries to his chest. No injuries to Dickerson were reported. A spokesperson for the Alton Police Department said Dickerson might be cited for failure to yield, pending the results of the investigation. Blood-alcohol tests are also pending, but police believe neither of the motorists was intoxicated.
The accident occurred at about 1:15 p.m. Monday, according to the Telegraph. Selby was riding south on Milton Road when Dickerson, driving a sedan, tried to turn left from Milton Drive, directly into Selby’s path. In the ensuing crash, Selby was seriously injured when his chest hit the left front fender of the car. No part of the car ran him over, however. The motorcycle slid several feet away from the site of the crash. Selby was airlifted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis for emergency surgery, but died in surgery about three and a half hours after the crash. A police spokesperson in Alton said Dickerson did not appear to be guilty of anything other than failure to yield at a stop sign, but that the department was waiting for the results of an investigation before charging anyone with a crime.
I am not a traffic officer or a detective; I am a southern Illinois auto accident lawyer. But I am surprised that the Alton police are willing to tell the media that Dickerson failed to yield, yet not willing to actually issue the citation. If he truly did fail to check for oncoming traffic, and as a result pulled into the path of an oncoming vehicle, Dickerson would almost certainly be cited for that failure, and could also be held responsible for the death under some circumstances. Regardless of whether he faces criminal charges, Dickerson would also be legally liable in any motorcycle crash lawsuit filed by Selby’s family. In fact, families who have lost a loved one or suffered a serious injury don’t have to rely on the criminal justice system to seek justice. Instead, families may sue a negligent driver in civil court, allowing them to recover financial compensation for their hospital bills and other costs while holding wrongdoers legally responsible for their actions.


Carey, Danis & Lowe represents victims and families in civil claims against careless, reckless or illegal drivers, whether or not there is a parallel criminal case. Victims of serious accidents have a lot to deal with — a wrongful death or catastrophic injury that changes their lives forever, plus all of the emotional and financial issues that go along with those things. In addition to being personally devastating, this can also be very expensive, causing five or six figures in medical bills and sometimes taking the victim out of work. Our Missouri car crash attorneys help victims claim money to pay these and other bills from the wrongdoers who caused the injuries to start with. We also help victims claim compensation for their physical injuries, pain, emotional trauma and lost quality of life, including the loss of a loved one forever.
If you or someone in your family was seriously injured by a driver who broke the law or failed to take reasonable care on the road, we can help. To set up a free consultation, contact us through the Internet or call 1-877-678-3400 today.