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Illinois resident awaits extradition for out-of-state fatality

No one wants a person who commits a crime, particularly someone who takes another person's life, to escape punishment. Some Cook County hit-and-run drivers try hard to hide themselves and evidence from criminal prosecution and civil penalties. Unfortunately, some drivers succeed, but others are only underground temporarily until authorities gather enough evidence to track them down.

An Illinois man recently was charged with causing a hit-and-run crash in another state. According to a news report from the state where the fatality occurred -- and where the defendant recently resided -- the SUV driver failed to stop after a motorcycle accident. Two men, ages 18 and 24, were killed when an Infiniti cut across a highway's centerline.

Investigators initially had no luck finding the car or the driver, although broken car parts were present at the crash scene. Several days after the accident, Rock County police received an anonymous tip that the car and driver were in Park City, in a different county. Through a coordinated effort, police located the man that they suspected and the Infiniti, which showed damage consistent with the fatal motorcycle accident.

The car was seized by Illinois police and shipped off to out-of-state investigators. The defendant was jailed to await extradition. He will face charges in Wisconsin for hit-and-run causing death.

Police stated that the defendant has been uncooperative. The delay in finding the man eliminates the ability for investigators to know whether the driver was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The defendant was arrested and cited in 2011 on a charge of receiving stolen property and named in an arrest warrant after neglecting to pay a fine.

Motorcycle accident victims and surviving family members can seek compensation through civil claims. Jurisdiction becomes important when the parties involved are from different states. Personal injury and wrongful death laws in the state where a lawsuit is filed are applicable.

Source: The Milton Courier, "Illinois man in custody for double-fatal motorcycle crash" Michael Gouvion, Apr. 25, 2014

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