When a person causes an Illinois auto accident that injures someone else, that individual is required by law to remain at the scene to notify authorities and/or assist those who need help.
But often, these “crash-causers” choose to put their own privacy and well-being ahead of the needs of the person they just hurt – so they ignore their legal obligations and flee the scene instead. It’s bad enough when an ordinary person decide to take this course of action, but it’s even more disheartening when the one who does this is an emergency medical technician – someone who has purportedly dedicated his life to helping victims of motor vehicle collisions and similar mishaps.
This week, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against an EMT who did exactly that last month in Park Ridge. The suit stems from an incident back on the afternoon of November 5, when a 36-year old man driving a Dodge Challenger in Skokie struck a 53-year old Park Ridge man who was walking on the south side of West Touhy Avenue close to the entrance to the Axehead Lake Forest Preserve. The Challenger sped away from the scene, and the victim succumbed to his injuries.
Police later discovered that the 36-year old driver was an EMT for a private ambulance company in Skokie. He was subsequently charged in the hit-and-run death of the man; and the victim’s brother filed the lawsuit, which seeks damages in excess of $50,000. The suit claims that the defendant not only was speeding, driving in multiple lanes, and failing to “keep a proper lookout” for pedestrians; but also failed to stop and render aid to the Park Ridge man.
It’s unclear whether the fact that the defendant was an EMT will have any direct legal bearing on the case. But should this lawsuit reach a jury, this fact will not be helpful to the 36-year old man.