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Peoria County Wrongful Death Jury Verdict Rendered

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Wrongful Death |

Thursday afternoon, 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, IL, who was killed July 11, 2017 in a crash with a tanker trailer in Toulon, Stark County, IL. 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. Matthew Hefflefinger and Thomas Dluski of the Heyl Royster law firm in Peoria defended the truck driver and his employer. The jury did not hear details of what caused the crash because the primary defendants, Timothy Schwenk of Brimfield and Cluver Milk Transportation, admitted that they were negligent and that they caused the death of Mrs. Miller in pleadings they filed in April of this year. Mrs. Miller is survived by her husband, Michael, since remarried, and her daughter, Kaylene, now 25.

The crash was horrifying. Timothy Schwenk drove a tractor tanker truck to pick up milk from Douglas Murray’s 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 Mrs. 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 Corina as she drove westbound on Route 17 in Stark County on her way to work at 4:42 a.m. An Illinois State Police photo taken after the crash showed the truck’s position:

Wrongful Death

After two years of denials in the civil lawsuit, Schwenk and his employer admitted all five acts of negligence in the current complaint.

The jury deliberated for 2 ½ hours.

Information submitted by Bruce Pfaff, (c) 312 972 9666, [email protected]