A 61-year old woman was killed after she was suddenly hit by a pickup truck in Brighton Park. The truck, reported Chicago Tribune, was parked in an alley and left unattended by its driver when his 13-year old son climbed into the passenger seat and accidently bumped the gearshift with his backpack. When the boy realized the car was moving, he climbed into the driver’s seat and tried to hit the brake, but accidentally hit the gas pedal.
The truck was boosted forward and hit two garages and one car before it stopped after crashing into the woman’s backyard. She was struck by the truck and was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition. According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, she was pronounced dead later that evening. Illinois State Police ruled her death accidental. The father was cited for leaving a running vehicle unattended and for driving with a suspended drivers license.
Our truck accident attorneys caution that an accident like this could happen to any driver who leaves children unattended in their vehicle. Children often play, kick, and change seats when traveling and could accidentally bump door handles, the steering wheel, or in this case, the gearshift. Toddlers can even potentially become strangled by seat belts. Leaving children unattended in a vehicle increases these risks and therefore increases the risk that you or other drivers and pedestrians could be in an unexpected accident.