A woman who caused a fatal Chicago motorcycle accident while painting her fingernails has been sentenced to “periodic jail time,” NBC Chicago reported.
The 49-year-old defendant was convicted of reckless homicide in connection with the Lake Zurich accident and sentenced to 18 months of periodic imprisonment, followed by 30 months of probation. The victim was sitting on her bike at an intersection when the defendant’s Chevy Impala slammed into her at about 50 mph. She was thrown several hundred feet and later died at the hospital.
“We appreciate Judge Foreman’s acknowledgment of the epidemic of distracted driving, and the need to apply a sentence that will serve as a warning for all motorists,” said the victim’s son.
Our Chicago accident attorneys frequently report on the dangers of distracted driving, both here and on our sister site, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog. While authorities largely focus on the dangers of cell phones and text messaging while behind the wheel, other common forms of distraction include applying makeup, dressing, grooming, smoking, eating and drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 6,000 people a year are killed and more than 500,000 are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving.
During the trial, her attorney had argued that other motorists around the cyclist went through the yellow light. When the rider stopped, the defendant had no time to react.
We frequently report on the dangers of following a motorcycle too closely. Motorcycles require about the same amount of time to stop as a passenger car — rear-end accidents are one of the leading causes of serious and fatal Illinois motorcycle accidents.
The jury took just three-and-a-half hours to find her guilty in the case.
ABC7 reported that the May 2009 crash happened in unincorporated Lake County at Route 9 and Old McHenry Road.