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Woman cited in fatal car accident could face serious charges

Prosecutors recently dropped all traffic citations against a woman that was allegedly negligent in the death of a 39-year-old man from Hawthorn Woods.

Normally, this would be good news for someone involved in a car accident, but prosecutors did this to prevent the woman from pleading guilty to the citations to gain a more lenient sentence. The victim in the accident died nearly a month after the crash, prompting prosecutors to drop the charges. Felony charges could soon be filed against the 23-year-old woman, in additional to a pending wrongful death lawsuit.

According to police, the woman was traveling on Highway 53 this past August when she received several texts on her cellphone. The woman claims she then put the cellphone down on the passenger seat, swerved to avoid some debris on the road, and crashed into a man that was changing his tire on the shoulder. Prosecutors claim the woman's use of her cellphone may have played a much more crucial factor in the accident than she admits. The woman, who was studying nursing at the time of the accident, also clipped a tractor trailer during the accident.

Police are continuing to investigate factors involved in the crash, while prosecutors are waiting for enough evidence to build a case against the woman. Meanwhile, the family of the man killed in the car accident has filed a civil suit against the woman, citing gross negligence.

The victim of the accident worked in the family-owned precision machining business and leaves behind a wife and two daughters, both teenagers.

Source: chicagotribune.com, "More serious charges in works for woman cited for texting while driving," Dan Hinkel, Oct. 14, 2011

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