A Divernon driver is facing charges after she allegedly left the scene of a fatal pedestrian accident earlier this month. On Nov. 14, the woman turned herself in to authorities, and her bond was set at $100,000. She has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident and aggravated driving under the influence.
The charges were the result of information collected by law enforcement during their investigation. If she is convicted on the charges, the woman could face a sentence of one to three years in prison for leaving the scene and three to 14 years in prison for the aggravated DUI charge.
The car accident occurred on Nov. 1 at approximately 12:45 a.m. on Jefferson Street near Glenwood Avenue in Springfield. According to a Springfield police report, the woman was allegedly driving west on Jefferson Street in a Hyundai Sonata when she struck a pedestrian as he attempted to cross the roadway.
A witness to the accident called 911. When police arrived on the scene, they found that the man had sustained severe life-threatening injuries. The pedestrian was transported to a local hospital, where he died eight days later at approximately 10 p.m. on Nov. 9.
A driver that is involved in an accident has a legal responsibility to stop and provide aid. The failure to do so may result in a delayed response from EMS and law enforcement. Leaving the scene of an accident may fall under the category of extreme recklessness, allowing the victim's family to seek punitive damages.
An Illinois personal injury attorney could review the case to determine if the circumstances warrant punitive damages. While some cases can be resolved outside of court through negotiations, a case involving punitive damages may require a civil court trial.
Source: The State Journal Register, "Divernon woman arrested in connection with fatal crash ", November 14, 2013