Recently, one of our Illinois car accident lawyers read a report about a mother who struck and killed her young daughter as she was backing her vehicle out of her driveway. Suntimes.com reports that the 40 year-old south suburban woman of Steger, Illinois got into her minivan in the 1100 block of Main Street in Crete around 7pm last Wednesday, while her 18-month-old daughter was playing nearby. Police say as she attempted to back her vehicle down the driveway, she unintentionally ran over her daughter.
The report states that police and fire crews responded to the scene and found the girl seriously injured. She was taken to Saint James Hospital and Health Centers in Chicago Heights, where she was pronounced dead at 7:41pm, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy completed later the next day determined she died of massive head injuries and her death was ruled an accident.
In a statement given to police at the scene, the woman admitted consuming “several alcoholic beverages” just prior to the accident. She was later given a blood test at Saint James Hospital, which indicated she was above the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. Police have not released her BAC. Police also said the woman was driving while her license was suspended.
The report states that the Will County State’s Attorney’s office recommended two felony counts of aggravated DUI, and bond was set at $1 million. She is currently being held in the Will County Jail with additional charges expected, as police await the results of toxicology tests.
As our Chicago car accident lawyers understand it, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs by one’s self is bad enough when considering that such actions endanger not only the impaired driver, but also all other motorists and pedestrians on or near the road. With that said, drunk driving becomes even worse when children are involved, either as passengers in the vehicle or simply walking or playing nearby, as described in the above report. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the 1,347 child occupant fatalities that occurred throughout the country in 2010, another 34 children died as pedestrians or bikers who were hit by drunk drivers.
Our Chicago auto accident law firm agrees that no child should be in danger from drunk driving, especially by parents or caregivers who are entrusted to keep them safe. A program called Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), created thirty-two years ago, has a mission “To aid the victims of crimes performed by individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, to aid the families of such victims and to increase public awareness of the problem of drinking and drugged driving.” Our law firm, in addition to the many families and individuals who have joined this program, agree that this entirely preventable crime is nothing but irresponsible when involving an innocent child. It is important that all DUI, DWI, and child safety laws remain strongly enforced in Illinois to further reduce these fatalities. In addition, strongly enforced administrative license suspension for DWI, implementation of mandatory substance abuse assortment, increase in sobriety and safety belt checkpoints on roadways, and treatment for offenders could prove beneficial.
Every year, our Illinois car accident attorneys provide qualified legal representation to individuals and families who have been injured or killed as a result of careless or negligent motorists. If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in a car accident due to a negligent driver, please contact our team of Chicago personal injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti to learn about what rights and compensation may be available to you. We are prepared to offer you the resources you need to seek legal action.