A judge in McLean County has determined that a 25-year-old female driver who struck and killed a pedestrian while driving drunk and failed to report the incident is guilty of leaving the scene of the car accident. The driver has already pleaded guilty to counts that include felony aggravated DUI, having a suspended license while driving and failing to reduce the vehicle's speed to help avoid an accident. A 21-year-old woman was killed in the accident, and her friend was injured but recovered.
The case surrounds a 2 a.m. trip to a liquor store in June of 2012 when the heavily intoxicated woman hit the two pedestrians at the intersection of Washington and Main streets in Bloomington. A passenger who was in the front seat stated that he advised the driver to leave the scene immediately to avoid getting into trouble. The accident was not reported to authorities within the legally required limit of 30 minutes, according to the Assistant State's Attorney.
A defense lawyer argued unsuccessfully that the driver had left the scene due to the chaos reigning there, with a very large number of people exiting bars in the downtown area and coming towards her car. The Associate Judge, however, made it clear that evidence showed the driver was perfectly capable of reporting the collision to police but did not.
In cases where a family suffers the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of another party, the family may choose to seek the counsel of a qualified attorney. A lawyer may be able to help advise them of their legal rights and help determine if a wrongful death lawsuit should be filed.
Source: Pantagraph, "Driver convicted of remaining counts in fatal DUI case", Edith Brady-Lunny, November 22, 2013