The hit-and-run driver of a vehicle that killed a pedestrian on Wednesday night has been arrested and charged, according to Tinley Park police. The 22-year-old Blue Island resident has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence and failure to stop after an accident causing personal injury or death.
A 61-year-old man who was visiting Tinley Park from India was crossing 159th Street southbound at 80th Avenue at about 9:30 p.m. when he was hit and killed by a black pickup truck. The truck fled the scene but left evidence including his license plate behind, a key element that helped police make an arrest.
A witness described the victim as laying in the middle of the road, a shoe and a bag he was carrying several feet away from his body and said the impact sounded like a large boom. A relative described the victim as “a very fun loving person” who “liked to travel.” Reportedly, he was a mayor and a social worker in India in his local municipality.
The charges against the driver in this case are significant and if convicted, could result in a long incarceration stint, depending on the driver’s prior history and other extenuating or aggravating factors. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol places a defendant at an immediate risk for a suspended license and fines, if convicted, and the consequences can be more severe.
In America, someone is killed as the result of a drunk driver every 51 minutes. This adds up to over 10,000 deaths at the hands of drunk drivers every year. None of these deaths are necessary and all are preventable by simply not driving after drinking. There are numerous alternatives in Illinois including public transportation, taxis, designated drivers, or even walking. But getting behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol is reckless and often results in injuries or death of innocent bystanders, as it did in this case.
Driving under the influence is a crime that this driver has been accused of, and leaving the scene of an accident is also a crime. Here, the driver allegedly failed to stop to render aid, failed to wait for the police to respond, did not provide any of his identification information, and did not remain at the scene after the crash. This is a felony offense in Illinois unless the driver needed to seek immediate medical attention, and there is no indication that the driver was hurt in this accident. This charge alone, separate from the DUI charge, may result in jail time if the driver is convicted.
These penalties are harsh because the behavior they are designed to address is so extreme and so hazardous and often deadly. If you have been involved in a collision caused by a driver under the influence or by a driver who fled the scene, you may have a claim for any injuries you sustained.
At Abels & Annes, P.C., we are Illinois hit-and-run injury lawyers who know how to deal with insurance companies and difficult defendants. We stand side-by-side with our clients and we fight for their rights. If you have been injured in an accident, call us today toll free at (855) 529-2442 and let us provide you with a free telephone consultation. We have a lawyer standing by now to take your call and answer any questions you have, so please do not hesitate. If you prefer, you can contact us online and a lawyer will respond to your inquiry.
Prior Blog Entries:
14 People Injured in Van Crash on the Kennedy, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 10, 2013.
Crash between Fire Engine and Car Leaves 2 Injured in Chicago, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published June 6, 2013.
Blue Island man charged in fatal hit-and-run in Tinley Park, by Gregory Pratt, Chicago Tribune, published June 10, 2013.