Through much of the 20th century, people would driver their cars to bars, clubs, or other places which served alcohol. They would consume many drinks and then try to get back into the cars to drive home. After countless innocent people were injured and killed in auto accidents by drunk drivers, governments began creating awareness campaigns about the problem and stiffening penalties for DUI.
Which makes the next statement all the more disturbing: today, some people are still driving to bars and clubs, getting drunk, and trying to drive home.
The latest instance of this took place in the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview this week. On Monday night, a 33-year old man from Arlington Heights drove his 2003 Toyota Camry to a gentleman’s club on West 100th Place a stone’s throw away from the Tri-State Tollway. He arrived at the club shortly after 8:15pm, began drinking, and then tried to depart in his car around 11:15pm. But just as he drove away from the club on West 100th, the 33-year old struck a 66-year old Hickory Hills man who was reportedly walking home from work. The victim died at a nearby hospital about eight hours later. The driver fled the scene of the crash, but was arrested by police about five blocks away. He remains in jail on charges of reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident, and aggravated driving under the influence.
Regardless of whether the driver was legally drunk at the time of the auto-pedestrian accident, it appears that he will be held responsible for the death of the Hickory Hills man. Therefore, the victim’s surviving family members may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Arlington Heights man. Such a suit could allow the family to collect reimbursement for hospital and burial expenses, compensation for lost future wages, and damages for loss of care and companionship and/or pain and suffering.