On November 18, 2021, a six-woman, six-man jury delivered a verdict of $7,020,882.96 to compensate the family of Corina Miller, a 41-year-old woman from Wyoming, Illinois, who was killed July 11, 2017, in a crash with a tanker trailer in Toulon, Stark County, Illinois.
The case was tried by Bruce Pfaff and Alexander Marsh of Pfaff & Gill, Ltd. Trial Lawyers of Chicago. Judge Stephen Kouri presided over the four-day trial.
The jury did not hear details of what caused the crash because the primary defendants admitted in pleadings filed in April they were negligent and that they caused the death of Miller. She is survived by her husband and her daughter.
The crash was horrifying. The truck driver drove a tractor tanker truck to pick up milk from a farm on the north side of Route 17 in Toulon. He stopped his tractor in the eastbound lane and was backing the tanker across the westbound lane when Miller approached in the westbound lane. She did not see the tanker until the last split second, according to the crash data recorder in her vehicle.
Her Jeep went into, under and beyond the tanker in the crash. She died of blunt head trauma almost immediately. Blood and urine tests established the truck driver was intoxicated on cannabis at the time. Two weeks before the crash, he installed extra-bright halogen headlights on his truck that were labeled to be used “off road only.” He used them “on road” and the headlights blinded the victim as she drove to work at 4:42 a.m. An Illinois State Police photo taken after the crash showed the truck’s position:
After two years of denials in the civil lawsuit, the truck driver and his employer admitted all five acts of negligence in the current complaint.
The jury deliberated for 2 ½ hours.