According to Illinois law, if you strike a pedestrian while you are driving a vehicle, you must immediately stop and remain at the scene until police and/or medical assistance arrives. Some people who are caught after a hit-and-run auto accident actually try to make up excuses why they fled the scene. They sometimes say that they didn’t know that they had struck anyone, or that they thought they had hit an object, pothole, or small animal in the road.
But when you drag someone almost a quarter mile after running over them, there shouldn’t be any doubt as to what happened.
Sadly, that’s what happened this week in the Goose Island neighborhood of Chicago, which is just east of the Kennedy Expressway. On Thursday around 4:15am, a westbound dark-colored Hyundai Sonata reportedly struck a 40-year old pedestrian as he was walking on Division Street between Hickory and Cherry Avenues. Chicago Police say the Hazel Crest man was dragged by the car for over 1/5 of a mile all the way to the bridge which spans the North Branch of the Chicago River. Once the man was discovered, he was rushed to Northwestern Hospital, but died about four hours later. The driver of the Sonata is still at large, and anyone with information about this incident is being urged to contact Chicago Police.
Hopefully, the hit-and-run driver will soon be apprehended and face justice. But once he is identified, the surviving family members of the 40-year old man can file a wrongful death lawsuit against him or her. Such legal action could allow the plaintiffs to collect monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship, reimbursement for hospital expenses and burial costs, and compensation for the estimated future wages that the Hazel Crest man would have earned in his lifetime had the auto-pedestrian accident never taken place.