Whenever someone dies in Illinois – especially in an auto accident – there’s really no such thing as a “happy ending.” But sometimes, events unfold so that the family of the deceased has an opportunity to achieve some semblance of closure so they can proceed with the grieving process.
That’s the best way to describe the recent arrest in connection with a hit-and-run auto-pedestrian accident in Rockford. Back on the morning of Wednesday, October 16 shortly before 1:15am, a 49-year old Rockford area man was walking along West State Street just west of Foster Avenue about half a mile north of the South Fork of Kent Creek. The man was apparently struck by a vehicle which sped away shortly thereafter, and the victim was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene around 2am.
Rockford Police conducted a thorough investigation; and on the following Tuesday, October 22, they announced that they had made an arrest in the case. A 21-year old man is being charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death. So as painful as the news of the victim’s death undoubtedly was, his family now knows how the auto-pedestrian accident occurred.
In addition, the family also has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the 49-year old man. Though it’s not yet clear exactly what caused the incident, the fact that the 21-year old man fled the scene strongly implies that the driver was at fault. If a jury eventually agrees, they could award the plaintiffs reimbursement for burial expenses, monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship, and estimated future wages that the victim would have earned in his lifetime had the tragedy never taken place.
The victim reportedly recently moved to Rockford from Columbus, Ohio. If that’s where his surviving family resides, any wrongful death lawsuit would have to be filed in Winnebago county, where the accident occurred.
Tags: Rockford, Winnebago County, hit-and-run, pedestrian.