It’s all too common for drivers in Illinois to be cited for driving without a license. The vast majority of these cases involve someone who has had his or her license suspended or revoked because of a previous crime. Others involve either underage drivers or people who did not happen to have their driver’s licenses with them when they were pulled over by police. But it’s rare for adults who are charged with this offense to never have been issued a driver’s license at all.
Such was the case in Chicago last week. On Monday evening around 6pm, two men were trying to cross the street at the intersection of Maplewood and Devon Avenues (about a quarter mile west of North Western Avenue) in the West Ridge neighborhood on the city’s Far North Side. A Volkswagen Beetle struck both men and then fled the scene. After Chicago Police released a picture of the suspect’s car, a 23-year old man was arrested and charged with reckless homicide and other offenses. But the unusual aspect to this story was that the suspect has never been issued a driver’s license.
As for the victims of the auto-pedestrian accident, the 46-year old man suffered a fractured leg and neck, while his 44-year old brother-in-law died at an Evanston hospital later that night.
Whether or not the 23-year old man is convicted, he may very well be named as the defendant in both a personal injury lawsuit filed by the 46-year old man and a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the surviving family members of the 44-year old man. Both suits could reimburse the men for hospital expenses, but the wrongful death suit could allow the victim’s family to collect damages related to loss of care and companionship as well as mental anguish (the deceased was a father of three young children).