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Parents, adult son seriously injured in Chicago hit-and-run

Drivers of passenger vehicles know how intimidating driving next to a speeding tractor trailer can be. At least cars offer occupants some safety barriers, unlike pedestrians who are the least protected users of Illinois roads.

Cook County is a busy place, even in the dead of winter. Pedestrians and vehicles interact as they navigate through the cold, wet and windy Chicago streets. Auto-pedestrian accidents aren't unusual, but the way some drivers handle them are.

Three people, a married couple and their adult son, were struck down recently while crossing a Rogers Park street. Chicago police said the collision was caught on a surveillance camera, showing the victims being hit and tossed into the air. The car slammed into another vehicle, before heading the opposite direction down a one-way street.

The driver didn't stay at the scene. Instead, the 46-year-old Toyota Camry driver allegedly headed home and parked his car in a garage. Prosecutors said the defendant talked about the injury crash with his girlfriend before turning himself in to police the next day.

The victims suffered serious injuries, including several broken bones, internal bleeding and ligament tears. The 28-year-old son and his 68-year-old father, diagnosed with brain bleeding, recently were moved out of a critical care unit. The 49-year-old mother was placed in a coma by doctors.

Police held the driver on $150,000 bail. He was charged with misdemeanors for negligent driving, failure to yield and leaving the scene. Failure to report was added as a felony charge.

Illinois laws make it a crime for drivers to abandon the scene of an accident. Laws like this don't seem to concern some drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 18 percent of all pedestrian deaths are the result of hit-and-run accidents.

Liability cases revolve around defendant's actions. Defendants who neglect the safety of other motorists and pedestrians are responsible for the harm they cause.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Man charged in Rogers Park hit-and-run that injured 3" Duaa Eldeib and Deanese Williams-Harris, Dec. 25, 2013

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