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Pedestrian accidents require stronger penalties

We read about the tragedies surrounding motor vehicle accidents regularly. When those accidents involve pedestrians, the end result is often severe injuries and in some cases even death. For one Downers Grove teen, the injuries he received after being struck by a car while he was crossing the street have left him severely disabled.

The 14-year-old boy was crossing the street while riding his bicycle last February when he was struck by a Darien man driving a pick-up truck. Last month, the man was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and was ordered to pay $1,500 in fines for his involvement in the pedestrian accident.

The man recounted his version of the events in court. He stated that he was attempting to make a left and turn when he "felt a bump on his car." He soon realized that he had run over something and proceeded to exit is vehicle. It was then that he discovered the young boy underneath his truck. The man claimed that he never accelerated -- put his foot on the gas -- at the time of the collision. The damage to the truck was consistent to the young teen striking the vehicle, not the other way around.

The boy sustained a traumatic brain injury due to the tragic accident and his mother stated to sources that his condition continues to decline. The family is now petitioning Illinois' governor for stronger penalties for striking pedestrians in crosswalks.

Pedestrian accidents occur far too often and can have horrific consequences as the family of this young teen now are facing. The family may be able to pursue damages to cover the ongoing cost of their son's medical care as well as other expenses from the negligent driver. An attorney experienced with personal injuries will be able to review the options with the boy's family to determine the best course of action.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Driver guilty in accident that left teen severely disabled," Nov. 16, 2012

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