Chicago police are searching for the driver of a silver truck that is believed to have been involved in a hit -and-run accident early Sunday morning.
The crash occurred in the 1600 block of North Kostner Avenue on the northwest side of the city and involved three vehicles, including the silver truck that has been described as a Toyota, possibly a Tacoma. Police believe that the driver of the Toyota truck collided with a Toyota Camry and a Hyundai Elantra, causing a significant crash that seriously damaged at least one of the vehicles.
A 25-year-old man was behind the wheel of the Camry and died at the scene of the crash. There was a 17-year-old male passenger in the Camry who was injured but is expected to survive after being transported and treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Reportedly, there were two people in the Hyundai and neither appeared to sustain injuries.
The driver of the Toyota truck fled the scene after the crash without providing his information to the other drivers or the police. In Illinois, leaving the scene of an accident that causes death or serious bodily injury is a felony and police are searching for that driver at this time.
Hit-and-run drivers break the law when they leave the scene of a crash, but despite the risk of serious charges against them, many Illinois drivers continue to flee and leave behind victims of crashes, many who may be unable to seek medical help themselves. If a fleeing driver leaves an unconscious or seriously injured victim behind, the chances that medical help will arrive in a timely manner decrease, putting the victim at a much higher risk of death or permanent injury. It is also every driver's duty to act with care and caution towards others on the road and leaving an injured victim without assistance directly violates this principle, further threatening public safety.
With the addition of street side cameras and other recording devices, more of these hit-and-run accidents are being captured on film and more offenders are being apprehended. These drivers may be prosecuted for criminal violations, traffic offenses, or both, but that is not always the extent of their liability. In many cases, the victim of a hit-and-run crash may be able to bring a civil claim for their personal injuries against an at-fault driver so that compensation can be obtained. These civil cases generally seek monetary payments to cover expenses like medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Even in a hit-and-run accident where the fleeing driver is never found, a victim may still have a valid claim for their damages. Here, a victim or a victim's family may be able to bring a claim against their own insurance company for their losses through a type of claim known as an uninsured motorist claim. This protects Illinois drivers in instances where an unknown or an uninsured driver causes an accident that results in injuries.