A former Detective with the Chicago Police Department was sentenced to serve eight years in prison for allegedly killing two young men in a fiery auto wreck while driving under the influence of alcohol. The 18-year police veteran reportedly struck the back of an automobile that was broken down on the Dan Ryan Expressway near Roosevelt Road while off-duty in April 2009. The two young men who died were trapped inside of their car as it burst into flames. Meanwhile, a passing motorist reportedly assisted the police officer out of his sport utility vehicle. Instead of notifying authorities or rendering aid, the detective allegedly walked away from the accident scene in the opposite direction from the engulfed vehicle. According to prosecutors, he was later apprehended on foot.
After he was taken into custody and transported to an area hospital, the police officer’s blood alcohol concentration allegedly tested .277, more than three times the legal limit of .08 in Illinois. He reportedly denied leaving the scene of the accident intentionally. Instead, the police officer claimed that he walked away disoriented from the impact of the fatal accident. Following the crash, the detective was stripped of his police powers. He resigned from the force in August 2012.
In September, the former officer pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence. He was also acquitted of failing to report the accident by Cook County Judge Charles Burns. Although Judge Burns stated he believed the former officer was remorseful about the accident, he reportedly took into account the man’s high blood alcohol concentration at the time of the collision when handing down his sentence.
Police in the Chicago Metro are always on the lookout for drunk or impaired drivers. In 2010, 436 individuals in Illinois died as a result of an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident. In addition, accidents that involved alcohol accounted for almost half of the 927 automobile accident deaths that occurred throughout the state. Despite the obvious dangers associated with drunken driving, nearly 42,000 driving under the influence arrests were made in 2010 in Illinois. An estimated 85 percent of all drivers who were arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol were first time offenders, and more than 75 percent were men.
Too often, the unfortunate victims of an accident with an impaired motorist suffer severe injuries or death. Although many drunk or impaired drivers are held criminally liable, they can also be held financially accountable for any damages suffered by those who were injured as a result of a drunk driving collision. If you were hurt in a crash with an impaired motorist, you may be entitled to recover the costs associated with your medical treatment, reimbursement for any lost wages, payment for any pain and suffering, and other damages. If you lost a close family member in a collision that was caused by a drunk driver, you may also be eligible to file a lawsuit for wrongful death. Contact a qualified Chicago car accident attorney to discuss your rights.
If you were injured in a collision with an impaired driver, you should call Abels & Annes, P.C. at (312) 475-9596. Our knowledgeable Chicago area drunk driving accident lawyers are available to answer your questions and aid you in filing your personal injury case. At Abels & Annes, P.C., our skilled attorneys are here to assist you 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Our capable lawyers are ready and willing to advocate on behalf of clients who were hurt by an impaired motorist throughout the Chicago Metro. To speak with a hardworking personal injury attorney today, contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
18 Injured in Chicago Heights PACE Bus Crash, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 22, 2012
Teen Driver, Two Chicago Police Officers Hurt in South Side Vehicle Accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 13, 2012
8 years for former cop in fatal DUI crash, by Julian Crews, WGN News
Ex-Chicago detective convicted of fleeing fatal crash, by Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune
Illinois DUI Fact Book 2012, cyberdriveillinois.com