As personal injury lawyers, we understand the devastation that reckless and careless drivers can bring with them. On average more than one hundred people die each day in motor vehicle crashes. (National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration)
For the second time in a little under a month, a 23-year-old Skokie woman has declined a plea deal that included a 5-year prison sentence stemming from a car accident which killed a 9-year-old boy in May. The woman has been charged with felony aggravated driving under the influence, and Chicago prosecutors allege the presence of drugs in her system when she caused the accident.
According to investigators, on May 22nd, the woman was driving home from work when she turned left onto Main Street from St. Louis Avenue. Before completing the turn, she struck a van, causing her car to spin over the median and land on a northeast corner sidewalk, where the 9-year-old boy was riding his bike.
The boy, who was a second-grade student at Madison Elementary School in Skokie, was pronounced dead at the scene. Prosecutors reported that blood and urine tests showed clear signs of cannabis and amphetamines in the woman’s system during the time of the accident. Earlier this year the prosecution also cited the Skokie woman’s previous arrests for drug possession and failure to attend court-ordered drug prevention as evidence of reckless and negligent action. They also stated that the defendant, who is being held in jail in lieu of bond, has also been charged with leaving the scene of a separate accident earlier this year, and was out on bond at the time of the accident.
Under sentencing guidelines, the judge could send the defendant to prison for anywhere between 3 and 14 years if found guilty at trial. If the woman does not take a plea deal at her next hearing on January 17th, she will elect to go to trial. The boy’s father, who sat quietly Friday morning with his wife in the tribunal, commented that the delay of a chance to face the woman responsible for his son’s death in court brought him to tears. “No amount of time is going to bring my son back… I would give 10 years of my life to spend one day with my son. Everything reminds me of him.” (Chicago Tribune)
For 20 years our lawyers have defended the families of those killed or injured by other people’s carelessness in civil cases, including a number of cases involving accident injuries to children. For example, our firm reached a $10 million settlement for a 5-year-old boy run over by a City of Chicago Fire Department while playing on the 4th of July, resulting in the loss of his leg and a portion of his pelvis. The money allowed the boy and his family to handle medical costs and pay those to come, and also held the individuals responsible accountable.
If you or a loved one has been injured as the result of someone else’s recklessness, we are here for you.