People try to take some creative measures to avoid being caught by police while trying to drive drunk. Some of them reduce their speed drastically. Others try to take less-traveled streets in the hopes of steering clear of law enforcement altogether. Many attempt to improve their concentration by driving with the stereo blaring and the windows rolled down.
One tactic that isn’t recommended: slamming head-on into a police car.
That’s exactly what happened in Chicago last week. Shortly after 11:15pm Friday night, a 24-year old Joliet man was driving a luxury car north on Laramie Avenue just past the Eisenhower Expressway in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side of the city. After passing Harrison Street at a high rate of speed, the driver crossed the center line and struck an oncoming Chicago Police sport utility vehicle, injuring both police officers inside it. The car then hit a parked car and took out a light pole at the intersection of Congress Parkway. One passenger in the car suffered a broken wrist; but the other, an 18-year old Cicero man, was ejected and pronounced dead on the scene. Police subsequently filed charges against the Joliet man of aggravated driving under the influence, reckless homicide, and several traffic offenses.
The police officers will have the costs of their auto accident injuries and rehabilitation covered by the Chicago Police Department. But the injured passenger in the car may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit against the 24-year old man in the hopes of getting reimbursed for medical costs and compensated for lost wages due to work absenteeism.
Furthermore, the surviving family members of the Cicero man may elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver. A jury could order the Joliet man to compensate the family for estimated future wages the teen would have earned in his lifetime, reimburse the family for burial costs, and perhaps even pay out monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of companionship.