A Chicago resident was hit and killed by a car in Skokie on Thursday night, according to the Chicago Tribune. The pedestrian vs. auto accident happened after dark at 7:30 p.m. in the 3900 block of Golf Road near the Springfield Avenue intersection.
No traffic tickets were issued by the Skokie Police, as they say the pedestrian crossed in the dark without a crosswalk. The driver never saw the pedestiran, and did not know what he hit until after he pulled over.
The pedestrian was Jaime Villanueva, 44, of Rogers Park. He was taken to Evanston Hospital and pronounced dead at 9:08 p.m. Police state that location is very dark at night and they are still trying to determine why the pedestrian was in the road.
While the newspaper report indicates the police blame the pedestrian for this auto accident, it will be interesting to see if further investigation shows anything different, or if personal injury lawyers get involved on behalf of the pedestrian’s family. While it was dark out, and there is no crosswalk at that location, the pedestrian obviously cannot give his side of the story.
As a former Evanston resident, I am familiar with this location. For the pedestrian to cross in a crosswalk, he would have had to travel a couple blocks out of his way to the Crawford and Golf intersection. Also, the speed limit is 35 mph at this location, but traffic often moves much faster. It was also snowy and icey last Thursday.
Illinois law states that vehicles cannot travel too fast for conditions on the road, and drivers further have to keep a look out for pedestrians in the area. While Golf Road is a fast and busy street, it travels though a heavily populated area at the accident location. On the North side of the road is a large retirement community, and there is a residential neighborhood to the South. Drivers in this area really do have to keep a sharp eye out for pedestrians crossing.
From the information given so far, I cannot say that the driver is more at fault, but it is odd that he never saw the pedestrian at all. I cannot help but wonder if maybe the driver was not paying attention, or maybe he was speeding. While the police at this point side with the driver, we will have to wait and see the police determine the speed of the vehicle, and if the family of Villanueva retains an accident lawyer.