Most of the time, the auto collisions that occur in Illinois involve people who simply make mistakes are don’t have any evil intentions. Those mistakes have consequences, of course; but the drivers in error are generally trying to avoid harming others who may get hurt (or killed) in these collisions.
But the same cannot be said for the individual responsible for one incident late last year on the South Side of Chicago. The man could best be described as a “serial carjacker,” and because of his actions, a boy is dead.
Around 12:30pm on the afternoon of Saturday, December 21, Chicago Police saw a 34-year old man carjack a vehicle on South Princeton Avenue just north of 51st Street near the Dan Ryan Expressway. The officers then gave chase onto westbound Garfield Boulevard. The suspect then allegedly ran a red light at Halsted Avenue and slammed into a Chevrolet Suburban on Halsted. Without checking to see if anyone was hurt, the man got out of the vehicle and carjacked a different sport utility vehicle, then fled the scene.
The suspect eventually reached the Tri-State Tollway, where he abandoned the SUV after it broke down and carjacked a third vehicle – a Honda sedan driven by a person who tried to help him – before escaping. He was eventually apprehended in Milwaukee on the day after Christmas. The family in the Suburban that was hit was taking an 11-year old boy to get a haircut before Christmas. But that boy was thrown through the rear passenger window, and he died at a nearby hospital about an hour later.
To be sure, the carjacker faces a litany of criminal charges. But it’s also important that he be held responsible for the death of the boy in the auto accident that the man caused. The parents of the boy can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the carjacker to compensate them for hospital and burial expenses and allow the family to collect monetary damages as well.