A Chicago police officer was hurt on Wednesday morning after being involved in an Illinois pedestrian accident, according to the Chicago Tribune. A driver allegedly struck the officer while turning his vehicle in an attempt to avoid a traffic safety check. After the collision, the motorist fled the scene of the accident.
The police officer, a 19 year veteran who works out of the near north police district, was in the middle of a traffic stop when he was hit around 2:10 AM in the 1500 block of N. Sheffield Ave. The offender was driving a Jaguar in the Goose Island neighborhood near several nightclubs and taverns.
The injured officer was taken by ambulance to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he received medical care for serious injuries to his legs.
The at fault driver was taken into police custody after a police chase that ended in the 3000 block of S. Princeton Ave., more than 5 miles from the scene of the accident. Police reportedly discharged their weapons during the chase, but it has not been reported if the motorist was hit by gunfire. The driver was injured, but a Fraternal Order of Police spokesperson on the scene said the injuries might have been from a shattered car window.
Criminal charges have not yet been filed. Depending on the severity of the injuries, it is very possible that the state’s attorney’s office could file felony charges.
Hit-and-run accidents continue to be an issue in the Chicago area and throughout the State of Illinois. Drivers flee accident scenes for variety of reasons, some because they have no auto insurance, some because they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, some because they are just scared and panic.
In this case, the decision to avoid a routine safety check was very poor judgment on the driver’s part. If he had stopped for the safety check, he most likely would have received a minor traffic citation, if even that. But his decision to flee now will have serious consequences, and even a possible incarceration. Further, the injured police officer will likely pursue a civil claim against the driver and his insurance carrier.
If involved in an accident where you are at fault, it is always the smart move to stay and exchange information with the other driver and make a police report, as required by law. When drivers flee the scene of an accident, it only makes matters worse. What starts as a minor moving violation and a claim against your insurance carrier can sometimes turn into a significant crime.
Just this week the Illinois car crash lawyers at Abels & Annes signed on to represent a pedestrian that was injured in a Chicago hit-and-run accident. The accident took place on June 12 just after 1:30 AM in the 4300 block of N. Mozart St.
Our client had just exited the vehicle when in impatient driver try to pass by without waiting, and struck our client with his vehicle. Unfortunately, the pedestrian sustained significant injuries.
He was seen at Swedish Covenant Hospital for severe neck pain. Several CAT scans were taken, which showed he sustained a spinal fracture collision. The client is now following up with an orthopedic physician in Chicago.
STORY UPDATE: 6/15/2011, the Chicago breaking news center is reporting that the hit-and-run driver, a 32-year-old Chicago man, is been charged with attempted murder of a police officer, aggravated battery to a police officer, aggravated fleeing the scene and eluding police, resisting arrest and many other moving violations.
Chicago police were performing a seat belt check when they saw the defendant was not properly belted and instructed him to pull over. The defendant then drove his Jaguar into a police officer that was in uniform. The officer was thrown onto the hood and held on as the vehicle pulled away. The Jaguar then made a sudden turn and the officer was thrown into the street.
The hit-and-run driver had an outstanding warrant on a bribery and weapons charge, and was also driving on a suspended license. This is likely the reason why he tried to flee the scene.