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Wilmette driver blamed for Illinois high-damage crash spree

Going out for a drive following an argument is perceived by some people as a way to cool off and calm down. On the surface, putting distance between you and a dispute sounds like a good idea. However, any time a driver's attention, physical condition or mental health is compromised, other Cook County motorists may suffer.

A Wilmette, Illinois, woman is in serious trouble for causing a series of accidents, one that critically injured a 48-year-old Evanston man. ABC7 Chicago reported the 63-year-old driver's hit-and-run trail of destruction spread through Evanston and stretched to Skokie. In between, police said the driver slammed into parked cars, a scooter and a bicyclist.

Events began on a Sunday morning, when police learned of a car accident in Evanston. The Toyota driver who caused the car crash fled, and blocks later, hit a scooter. The rider suffered minor injuries and was luckier than the driver's next victim.

The Toyota then hit a bicyclist, who was thrown onto the car's windshield. The man is recovering from a critical head injury, that authorities say would have been fatal had the cyclist not been wearing a helmet. A short time later, the driver was arrested in or near Skokie – reports conflict -- by an officer that saw the badly damaged Toyota.

Along with 13 traffic offenses, the defendant was charged with reckless driving, criminal property damage, leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and felony aggravated fleeing and eluding police. Initial tests showed no evidence of alcohol or drug use; WLS-TV reported a mental health problem is suspected.

Driving laws in Illinois impose restrictions on drivers with certain health problems. A restriction may not mean the revocation of a driver's license, unless a driver's physical or mental condition threatens to create an unsafe driving situation. Sometimes the only people who know they shouldn't be driving keep that information to themselves.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Wilmette Woman Charged After Injuring Cyclist In Evanston Crash" No author given, Apr. 08, 2014

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