Nbcchicago.com states that a Chicago police officer has been charged with striking and seriously injuring a bicyclist, not only fleeing the scene afterwards, but also filing a false report about the accident. Our law firm learned that the accident occurred in August when the 33-year old officer of almost ten years was driving his truck near California and Wabansia Streets and struck a woman riding her bicycle home from work at 3:45am. Officials say she was knocked unconscious with a head injury, and also suffered other bruises and fractures to the rest of her body. Her boyfriend, who was also riding his bicycle nearby, stated that he saw the pickup speeding, weaving in and out of lanes, and running stop signs before he struck the woman.
The report states that the officer called 911 twice from his cell phone to report the accident and provide the location and condition of the victim, without identifying himself as a Chicago police officer. As ambulances approached the scene, the officer got back into his truck, drove around the victim and hit two parked cars as he fled the scene, his license plate falling off of his truck in the process. “To find out that he was a police officer and was not taking action at that point, that really surprises me,” said the woman’s boyfriend.
Even more surprising, prosecutors say the officer filed a false report with police two days later. He ultimately tried to conceal his wrongdoing by blaming the bicyclist for the accident, stating the woman disregarded a stop sign and hit his truck, later fleeing the scene. Authorities who recovered paint samples from the truck, in addition to the truck’s missing license plate, determined the truck had hit the woman’s bicycle and both parked cars. Medical and forensic records also indicate the officer was to blame for the accident.
The state’s attorney’s office recently released that the officer was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries, a Class 1 felony, and disorderly conduct for filing a false police report, a Class 4 felony. He has been relieved of his police powers and was ordered held on a $25,000 bond.
From the perspective of our attorneys, the occurrence of accidents similar to this is truly unfortunate. While negligent motorists do exist, the negligence of drivers such as police officers, semi truck drivers, or bus drivers can cause accidents and serious injury that simply should not happen. These drivers are expected to follow all rules and regulation necessary to protect that safety of other individuals on the road, whether they are motorists, bicyclists, or pedestrians. Some of these rules include owning a proper license, properly maintaining their vehicle, operating their vehicle attentively and responsibly, and reacting appropriately if an accident does occur.
Because of the potential injury and life altering consequences that can come from a truck and bicycle accident, it is encouraged that all victims seek quality legal representation. Our Chicago accident lawyers at Levin & Perconti represent individuals and families who have suffered personal injury or wrongful death because of the carelessness or negligence of a motorist.
If you have been seriously injured, or lost a loved one in an accident due to a negligent truck driver, please contact our law firm to learn about what compensation may be available to you.