Woman Killed After Man Leaves Car Running, Son Accidentally Puts it in Gear

Authorities believe a 58-year-old woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was killed on a Thursday morning. The woman was walking on a sidewalk in the 4400 block of South Saint Louis Avenue in the Brightton Park neighborhood when a truck crashed through a garage and struck her.

Police say that a pickup truck was loaded with construction materials or metal scraps as it sat in an alley. The driver exited the truck with the truck in park to pick up something from the alley. Witnesses state that the driver’s son, a 13-year-old boy, was in the truck and accidentally put the truck in gear as he sat in the front passenger seat. The truck began to roll forward, prompting the 13-year-old to climb into the driver’s seat and attempt to stop the truck. Though he attempted to use the brake pedal, the teen hit the gas instead, sending the truck flying into a garage. The truck crashed through the garage and struck the woman on the other side.

The truck crossed the street and then hit another garage before colliding with a brick wall, where it came to a rest. Authorities were called and emergency medical personnel transported the victim to Mt. Sinai Hospital where she underwent treatment for several hours before dying of her injuries in the early afternoon.

The driver of the car received citations for leaving a vehicle unattended while running and for driving on a suspended or revoked license. At this point, there is no indication that the teen will face any charges but authorities state that they are still investigating the incident.

Accidents can happen to anyone on any given day. But describing incidents like this one as accidents is not absolutely accurate in many cases. Here, there is no indication that either the man or his son intended to hurt anyone, including the female victim, but that is exactly what happened. Though the driver may have not had ill will towards the woman, by leaving his truck running in an alley and by letting his unlicensed son to remain in the truck where the son could operate the vehicle, the driver risked the safety of others in the area. Additionally, the driver at issue did not have a valid license at the time of the crash and therefore could not legally drive, yet he chose to drive anyway. Even after the state of Illinois determined that he was not legally allowed to drive, the man determined that he could get behind the wheel and drive anyway. His actions created a dangerous situation that cost an innocent woman her life.

Regardless of what happens with the man’s traffic or criminal charges brought by the state, the surviving family members of the victim may be able to bring a civil claim for their losses. These claims are often referred to as wrongful death cases and they allow families to obtain financial compensation for their losses, including the loss of companionship they are forced to endue as the result of their loved one’s death.

If your loved one has been the victim of an accident, you may be able to obtain relief for your losses. Contact the Chicago wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today for a free case consultation. At Abels & Annes, we focus our entire practice on bringing relief to the families to accident victims. We are here to take your call 24 hours a day at (312) 924-7575 or toll free at (855) 529-2442 and there is never an obligation with your first phone call. We advance all litigation costs and we will never take a fee unless we obtain a recovery on your behalf. Call us today and let us help you after an accident.

Prior Blog Entries:

Unlicensed Driver Sentenced to 4 Years for Reckless Homicide, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published August 15, 2013.

Elderly Driver Crashes Into Liquor Store, Causes Fire, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published August 12, 2013.


Metal picker truck hits, critically hurts woman on SW Side, Chicago Tribune, published August 15, 2013.

Woman Dies After Being Hit By Pickup Truck, CBS Chicago, published August 15, 2013.

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