As the weather heats up, more and more people are outside walking. Unfortunately, as a result, accidents are happening because motorists are not yielding to pedestrians. Two recent cases in Illinois illustrate the dangers of not watching for people walking in the street.
Jonathon Nast of Damiansville, Illinois was charged with the hit-and-run of Lana Albert of Edwardsville. Police received a report the early morning of June 7 that a woman was walking in and out of traffic. Albert’s body was found later along the highway. Both Albert and Nash had been at the same nearby bar.
Nast did not notify police of striking the pedestrian. Charges allege that he went to a scrap dealer to sell his vehicle before calling the police and telling them it had been in an accident. The owner of the scrapyard shared that Nash came in and asked if his truck could be crushed, and if Nast could crush the truck himself. The yard owner did not suspect Nast of any wrongdoing because his car had other operational issues. Police contacted the yard owner the day after Nast visited, and took the vehicle into their possession.
On June 12, 2014, Nash was taken into custody. Failure to report a motor vehicle accident resulting in death is a class 1 felony, which has a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison. An obstruction charge is a class 4 felony and has a maximum sentence of 3 years in prison.
Nast’s bail was set at $25,000 and his girlfriend’s family posted $2,500 in cash for his bond. He was released the afternoon of June 13.
In Geneva, Illinois, a man is facing felony charges for hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Police are saying that he drove drunk, ran a red light, hit a pedestrian and broke the pedestrian’s leg. Felipe Hernandez, from the West Side Chicago, was charged with misdemeanor driving under the influence, driving without insurance, driving with a suspended license and disobeying a traffic-control device.
Police followed Hernandez after watching him weave in and out of traffic. After realizing that Hernandez was not going to stop for the red light, the officer turned on his lights and siren, but was too late. Hernandez hit a 29-year-old Elgin woman who was walking in the crosswalk. She was sent into the air and landed on her back with a broken left leg. Hernandez made a turn and stopped, where he was then arrested. He was released after posting a $5,000 bail.
It is extremely important to watch and yield for pedestrians. Drivers should be aware how easily a dangerous situation can be avoided by stopping and letting pedestrians cross. Visit hupy.com to receive a free “Yield for Pedestrians” bumper sticker.