A few weeks ago, we brought you the story of a tragic auto-pedestrian accident which killed a University of Illinois student while she was walking on a sidewalk. It happened back on October 9 in Champaign, when a pickup truck driving near the U of I campus swerved off Lincoln Avenue and into two pedestrians, one of whom later died. This week, we learned that the driver of the pickup will be charged with aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide.
The charge against the 58-year old Urbana man stemmed from test results that revealed the presence of “cannabis electrolytes” in his system. Even though cannabis can remain in the bloodstream for some time after marijuana was consumed, Illinois law states that any amount of THC, the active ingredient in pot, that is found in a person is enough to sustain a DUI charge. There’s no word on whether the suspect admitted to smoking marijuana.
In addition, more information was revealed about the man’s “diabetic condition” which he said caused him to drive erratically. The driver is a chronic diabetic who takes insulin for his condition. Though he normally eats breakfast to help maintain his blood sugar, he did not do so on the day of the accident because he was “preoccupied.” In addition, the man was reportedly driving to the office of the secretary of state in order to get license plates and insurance because he hadn’t driven at all for three years. The Urbana man was treated for low blood sugar after weaving on and off Lincoln Avenue several times over a six-block stretch between Nevada Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
The state is alleging that the 58-year old man knew about his medical condition but chose not to adequately address it before the fatal auto-pedestrian accident. These findings bolster the odds of success for any wrongful death lawsuit which might be filed by the parents of the deceased 20-year old woman.