Coplan & Crane, a law firm that handles personal injury and wrongful death cases including truck accidents, is representing a man who was pinned beneath his overturned garbage truck and suffered serious injuries during an accident last fall.
Attorney Gregory Coplan of Coplan & Crane is helping the truck driver, Cody L. Drummer, 23, seek compensation for his losses after the crash
Drummer, a driver for Rock River Disposal, was traveling west in the 5400 block of Baxter Road when an eastbound pickup truck driven by Stanislaw Mrugala, 36, of Rockford crossed over the center line into the garbage truck's path. During the collision, the garbage truck tipped over, trapping Drummer in the crushed cab.
A Maggio's tow truck was used to lift some weight from the overturned truck, and firefighters worked for an hour to cut Drummer free. He was airlifted from the scene by an OSF Lifeline Helicopter and treated for serious injuries at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, before being transferred to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.
He now is recovering at home. Coplan said that while Drummer suffered a severe neck injury, he is not paralyzed, but sustained serious injuries to his legs, suffered a ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, a fractured skull, bruised lungs, a broken nose and broken facial bones. He is currently wearing a halo-a medical device to stabilize his head, neck and spine while his neck injuries heal.
Mrugala, the driver of the pickup truck, was treated for life-threatening injuries at Saint Anthony. Another Rock River employee who was in the truck with Drummer sustained minor injuries.
Because the crash involved a commercial truck, an investigation was completed by the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department, assisted by the Illinois State Police.
"Cody was trapped for over an hour and seriously injured while doing his job," Coplan said. "He is tough, and was in very good health before the crash, which made a difference in terms of his ability to recover. A lot of people would not have pulled through."
Coplan said motorists have a responsibility to drive safely near garbage trucks and commercial vehicles.
"Cody's accident illustrates just how devastating a truck accident can be," Coplan said. "We urge everyone to drive safely and be especially vigilant near big trucks."