In what can be called an unthinkable series of events, a family mourns the loss of another child, following a second fatal accident, which took the life of a remaining twin. Although the accidents occurred nearly 18 years apart, the irony of these tragedies is that occurred within 500 yards from one another, near Crete, Illinois.
The first accident, which happened on May 26, 1996, involved a hit-and-run accident that took the lives of three children-11-year-old Cari Sanaghan, 12-year-old Courtney Lauer, and 12-year-old Sheena Acres-and severely injured a 13-year-old boy, and Cari’s twin sister, Sarah Sanaghan. The driver, Richard Devon, who struck the children as they were walking across Plum Creek Bridge on Burville Road, was later convicted for leaving the scene of the accident.
The second accident occurred on February 27, 2014, as 29-year-old Sarah Sanaghan traveled west along Burville Road, near Crete. According to officials, Sanaghan’s Chevy Cruz collided with a tanker truck that was headed south on Illinois 394. Although the truck driver was not seriously injured as a result of the collision, Sanaghan sustained blunt force head trauma, which the coroner’s office reported was the cause of her demise.
Following the 1996 incident, the Sanaghans helped pass state legislation that increased the consequences for criminals who leave the scene of an accident involving injury or death. As a result of the efforts of the Sanaghans and others, motorists that cause injury or fatality in a hit-and-run accident can be sentenced to 3 to 14 years in prison upon conviction.
The Chicago Automobile Collision Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. commend the Sanaghan family’s ability to assist in the passage of legislation that made hit-and-run accidents a more serious crime, and doing so at a time they were grieving the loss of a child. As personal injury and wrongful death attorneys, we wholeheartedly believe that negligent drivers should be held accountable for their actions to the maximum extent possible, both criminally and civilly.
As a final note, Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. wishes to send our sincerest condolences to the family and loved ones of the Sanaghan sisters. Suffering the loss of one child, no matter what the cause, is a tragedy in itself, but suffering the loss of two children in two separate auto accidents, is simply unimaginable. Our thoughts remain with you during this difficult time.