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A Wrong Way Crash And A Wrongful Death

A woman died because of a fatal accident, and her family has sued a Lynwood village clerk for negligence after the crash, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

Rolle Valle, driving the wrong way on Illinois Route 394 near East Lincoln Highway, crashed head-on into two cars.

Valle, the clerk in the village of Lynwood, has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in connection with the fatal accident.

State Police said Valle was driving northbound in the southbound lane. His vehicle struck the other car head-on and the impact caused the car to roll over in the median.

Melikah Little, 32, was killed, leaving behind four daughters ages 4, 7, 9, and 16. Little's husband was in another vehicle and fractured his hip.

Prosecutors say Valle went to three bars the night of the crash. After the accident, his blood alcohol level was tested at a .135, almost one and a half times the legal limit of .08.

Tragic Accident for Both Parties

The family's attorney has said the situation was completely avoidable. In addition to the criminal charges, Valle is subject to a civil lawsuit.

Little died instantly. "That's tragic. These cases, there's no winner," said defense attorney Scott Arthur.

Valle's attorney went on to point out that he "was a pillar of the community, a great guy. Great father. He's everything that you would expect somebody to be and more so; he's a Vietnam veteran."

Little's husband will be able to sue for wrongful death, in a civil case separate from the criminal charges.

Wrongful Death Act

A wrongful death lawsuit allows surviving family to recover for damages that result from the death of a wife, husband or child.

The surviving spouse or the next of kin of the decedent may recover pecuniary damages under its provisions. "Pecuniary loss" may include loss of money, benefits, goods, services, society and sexual relations.

Recovery in Illinois is subject to contributory negligence, so any damage amount would be reduced in proportion to the percentage of negligence of the decedent.

If a family member has been killed in an accident, an Illinois personal injury attorney can examine the facts of your situation and help you determine if the present a viable case.