An Illinois man struck and killed a panhandler, and he is now facing DUI charges as a result of the accident. The main count that he is facing is for aggravated DUI, which is a felony. On top of that, he is looking at other charges for DUI, failing to stop at a red light and not exercising the caution that was needed to keep from running into a pedestrian.
According to reports, the accident took place around 6:30 in the morning, on North Avenue, which is in West Town. The light for the Kennedy Expressway ramp had turned red, but the man went through it anyway. His SUV then crashed into another car that was coming down the ramp.
The force of the impact rolled the SUV up onto its side. It then slid out of its lane and into the lanes heading the opposite direction. The panhandler was standing in the center of the road, and he was hit by the car as it slid along.
That panhandler was a man who was 73 years old. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said that he was declared to have died while still at the scene of the accident.
Though this death did end up being declared an accident, it was found that the driver's blood alcohol level was far too high to be driving a vehicle. Reports indicate that it was allegedly twice what the legal limit allows in the state.
This is an interesting case because it demonstrates that an accident victim still has rights to protection from drunk drivers who break the law, even if that victim is already in the street and in harm's way. The families of any such victims must understand these rights.
Source: Voices, "Man charged with DUI after fatally striking panhandler in West Town" Jordan Owen, Jun. 03, 2014