car accident hinsdale il

Fatal Car Accident at Fuller’s Car Wash in Hinsdale Spurs Lawsuit

A tragic car accident hinsdale il that claimed the life of a 14-year-old boy outside Fuller’s Car Wash in Hinsdale, IL last year has resulted in a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family against the car wash and the teenage driver’s father.

On May 5th, 2022, Sean Richards was killed when a Jeep Wrangler accelerated out of control in the car wash parking lot, striking the teenager and crashing into the neighboring Fontano’s Subs restaurant. The 16-year-old employee behind the wheel had accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, causing the vehicle to lurch forward uncontrollably.

Lawsuit Alleges Negligence in Fatal Car Accident Hinsdale il

The family of Sean Richards filed a lawsuit earlier this month alleging that Fuller’s Car Wash was negligent and failed to take reasonable steps to prevent such accidents from occurring. This incident marked the third time in recent years that a vehicle had rolled uncontrolled out of the car wash, pointing to negligent operations, the lawsuit states.

The suit also names the father of the 16-year-old driver as a defendant, claiming he was negligent in allowing his inexperienced teenage son to drive the Jeep. The Hinsdale police had cited the teenage driver at the time, but ruled the crash an car accident hinsdale il.

Family and Community Mourn Loss of Boy Scout, Altar Boy

For the family and community of Sean Richards, the tragic loss has left deep grief. Described as a Boy Scout and altar boy who served at Mass on the last day of his life, Richards’ death has been devastating for his family. His parents witnessed the car accident hinsdale il first-hand when picking up their son from the nearby Five Guys restaurant.

“Losing a child is unbearable,” said Sean’s mother, “especially when his death could have been prevented with reasonable safety precautions. We will do everything we can to make sure no other family suffers this type of preventable tragedy.”

The family aims to promote accountability from Fuller’s Car Wash and advocate for its relocation from the busy pedestrian area to a less risky location. Their lawsuit joins similar action from three other individuals injured in the incident.

Previous Incidents Put Spotlight on Car Wash Safety

While ruled as accidental, this incident has brought attention to the prior cases of vehicles rolling out of control from Fuller’s Car Wash. In 2016, an employee’s Jeep crashed into the Five Guys next door after accidentally accelerating. In 2018, another vehicle accelerated through the car wash wall into the neighboring parking lot.

“Despite three devastating incidents, Fuller’s Car Wash failed to implement safety measures to protect pedestrians and patrons,” said the family’s attorney.

The lawsuit alleges that Fuller’s took no reasonable action, like wheel locks or runaway vehicle ramps, to prevent runaway vehicles, showing negligence for the safety of customers and the community.

Legal Battle Underway as Company Vows to “Serve Faithfully”

In response to the lawsuit, Fuller’s Car Wash issued a statement offering condolences to the Richards family and pledging commitment to Hinsdale.

“We are deeply grieved by this tragedy and the loss experienced by the Richards family and community,” the statement read. “As the legal process moves forward, we remember Sean along with the people of Hinsdale. We will continue serving this community faithfully for years to come.”

The company acknowledged the legal battle stemming from the accident but focused on its longstanding local roots and intent to honor Sean’s memory. However, the Richards family emphasized that honoring their son means making changes to prevent similar occurrences.

As the case enters the courts, the family and community are left mourning Sean’s death and hoping to see justice done as well as preventative action taken. The legal outcome could set new precedents for car wash safety and accountability for such incidents.

Community Continues to Heal

For Hinsdale, the days following the tragedy saw an outpouring of grief, condolences, and a community united in mourning. Friends, family, local officials, and residents expressed their sorrow, paid respects to the Richards family, and hoped for changes that would prevent such heartbreak.

In the year since losing their son, the Richards have focused their efforts on promoting accountability and campaigning for improved safety. While the lawsuit cannot undo their devastating loss, it represents their commitment to honoring their son through justice and preventing similar tragedies.

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