A well-known former high school boys' swim coach has been identified as a victim in a fatal car accident in Illinois. The driver who caused the crash was allegedly intoxicated at the time. He is currently housed at Winnebago County Jail with bond set at $1 million.
The car accident happened in the early morning hours of May 20 on Illinois 251 in Rockford. The 46-year-old driver was merging into traffic when his vehicle drove over two medians and hit a guardrail. The impact caused the vehicle to become airborne and it landed on a pickup truck driven by the 57-year-old victim, who was on his way to work. He died at the scene due to chest trauma.
The driver ran from the crash scene but was found by police thanks to witness statements. The man faces multiple criminal charges, including fleeing an accident scene, aggravated driving after license revocation and driving while intoxicated.
Neither vehicle had passengers at the time of the crash. Traffic was closed for some time to allow officers to investigate.
It's devastating to have a family member die from another person's negligence, and it goes without saying that drunk driving can have catastrophic and unfair consequences. There are unfortunately many instances of drunk drivers who seriously injure or kill others but escape from the accident without injury.
Besides the criminal charges, the man might face a wrongful death lawsuit from the family. The man's reckless behavior killed a man and caused grief for his family, which may allow the family to seek compensation for funeral expenses and emotional damages.
Source: Rockford Register Star, "Victim, suspect identified in fatal Rockford hit-and-run crash near downtown YMCA" Jeff Kolkey and Chris Green, May. 20, 2014