In Illinois, conventional wisdom holds that the number of auto-pedestrian accidents will decrease as temperatures drop. That’s because there tends to be fewer pedestrians (and drivers) outdoors as the weather turns colder. But this rule of thumb certainly wasn’t apparent in mid-October – because there were three serious hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians in Illinois within the span of a week.
The first one was reported on Friday, October 12. Shortly after 11:45pm, a 22-year old University of Illinois student was walking along University Avenue in Urbana, about a quarter mile northeast of U of I. A couple blocks east of Lincoln Avenue, the man was struck by a car and suffered multiple injuries. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital, but died about eight hours later. The car fled the scene, but the vehicle and the 20-year old man driving it were located a short time later. The driver was charged with driving under the influence.
Less than 28 hours after the first incident, an 85-year old woman walking in Chicago died after being hit by a vehicle. The victim was walking Sunday morning in the West Austin neighborhood, when she was hit by a dark-colored car on shortly before 3:15am on West Division Street just west of North Central Avenue. The vehicle fled the scene, and Chicago police are still searching for the car and its driver.
Then on Friday morning around 2am, another hit-and-run accident was reported in Chicago. A skateboarder was in the southbound bike lane of North Milwaukee Avenue about a quarter mile northwest of North Avenue in the Bucktown neighborhood. The 42-year old man was struck by a vehicle and suffered critical injuries. The car and the driver were located a short time later.
The skateboarder has grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against the driver that struck him, while the family members of the U of I student have a strong case for a wrongful death lawsuit against the 20-year old DUI suspect. But until police locate the driver of the car that killed the elderly woman in Chicago, her relatives won’t be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit on her behalf.