A southwest suburban teen died Monday, three days after she was hit by a car. According to a statement from Olympia Fields police, the girl had been wandering down the middle of the 3600 block of Lincoln Highway (U.S. 30) in Olympia Fields at five in the morning. Police told the girl's family that her blood alcohol content level was high, perhaps providing an explanation for why she was in the middle of the road. Police also said that they had received multiple 911 calls regarding a person walking in the middle of the roadway before the girl was hit.
Members of the girl's family told reporters that the girl had suffered in the hospital for three days following the accident. In attempts to save her life, doctors reportedly had to revive her five times. According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, the girl was pronounced dead at 3:31 p.m. Monday at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
A 21 year old man is being criminally charged for allegedly purchasing alcohol for the girl before the accident occurred. Police said that before the girl was involved in the accident, they believe she was at a party at the man's house, where alcohol was present.
Police said that the Park Forest man was charged with with one count of providing liquor to a minor and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
In addition to these criminal charges, the man could potentially face a civil law suit from the girl's family. The act of providing alcohol to the girl may give rise to a wrongful death claim. Generally speaking, if an accident results in a fatality, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the family of the deceased when the negligence of another party caused his or her death. Wrongful death suits are usually brought against the parties directly responsible for causing the death, such as the driver of the car his or herself. If successful, a wrongful death claim can provide a family with compensation for their pain and suffering, medical bills, loss of earnings of the deceased, funeral expenses, and in some cases punitive damages.