A 36-year-old Chicago man was convicted by a jury of reckless homicide and aggravated driving with marijuana in his system on May 9. He was found not guilty of all DUI charges. The charges are based on an incident that occurred on August 9, 2011 in which he was involved in a car accident that killed two people.
The man was accused of driving a Ford Mustang into a parked Honda Civic in Jefferson Park, near Sunnyside and Austin avenues. The Honda was occupied by a 35-year-old woman, her 16 year-old son, her teenage stepson, a family friend and the driver’s toddler son. The driver and her 16-year-old were both killed in the car accident. The remaining occupants of the car were treated for unspecified injuries.
At trial, the man’s attorney argued that it was just an accident. However, the prosecuting attorney described speeding and erratic driving that occurred on this residential street prior to the collision. At sentencing, the man is facing between six and 28 years of imprisonment. It was not stated when the sentencing will take place.
Now that the man has been convicted of reckless homicide, if the victims decide to seek compensation, he will be prohibited from arguing that he is not legally responsible. Because criminal cases have a higher burden of proof, the criminal conviction is conclusive evidence that the man did not drive carefully. The three who were injured may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. The family of those who were killed may be entitled to funeral costs, lost earning potential and any medical costs. Some family members may also be able to recover for the damage to their relationships with the woman and her son.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Man Convicted In Jefferson Park Crash That Killed Mother, Son,” May 10, 2013