There’s an old saying: “Nothing good happens after midnight.” The idea is that a wide variety of ills can befall an individual who is out during the early morning hours. (Of course, for some people that’s precisely why they are out and about during these times.) Perhaps there should be a corollary to this rule which reads: ” Nothing good happens after midnight when you’re driving under the influence.”
This latter adage was illustrated tragically in Springfield earlier this month. Around 12:45 am on the morning of Friday, November 1, a 24-year old woman from Divernon was driving a Hyundai Sonata around the streets of Springfield. On Jefferson Street close to Glenwood Avenue (a block south of Douglas Park), a 48-year old man was trying to cross the street when he was struck by the Sonata. The woman fled the scene of the auto-pedestrian accident, leaving the man lying in the roadway. The victim was transported to a nearby hospital, but eventually succumbed to his injuries eight days later. Police later arrested the woman and charged her with aggravated driving under the influence as well as leaving the scene of an accident.
Regardless of how the criminal case turns out, the Divernon woman will almost certainly be held responsible for the DUI hit-and-run accident and the death of the Springfield man. This means that the man’s surviving family members could elect to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Divernon woman. Such legal action could allow the family to collect reimbursement for burial expenses as well as the undoubtedly hefty medical costs incurred from a weeklong stay in the hospital. The plaintiffs could possibly also receive monetary damages for pain and suffering and loss of care or companionship, as well as estimated future wages the man may have earned in his lifetime had the incident never taken place.