An alleged driver on drugs has been charged for her role in the death of a pedestrian in south suburban Chicago Heights.
On June 28, 2017, at approximately 2:40 p.m., 47-year-old Rical P. Thomas, of Richton Park, was driving her Honda CR-V at the 300 block of Chicago Road when she reportedly struck 30-year-old Cordell Williams, of University Park, who had been walking south along the west side of the street.
When Chicago Heights Police reported to the scene of the incident, they found Ms. Thomas’s vehicle rolled over onto the driver’s side with front and side vehicular damage.
Mr. Williams was taken to nearby Franciscan St. James Health, where he was pronounced dead at 3:08 p.m. of multiple injuries resulting from being struck by a motor vehicle. A subsequent autopsy ruled his death an accident, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Ms. Thomas and her unidentified juvenile passenger also received medical treatment at Franciscan St. James Health.
The Chicago Heights Police Department charged Ms. Thomas with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs causing death and reckless homicide.
THE DANGERS OF A DRIVER ON DRUGS
Thanks to an extensive effort by both public agencies and private organizations, there has been a substantial decline in the number of Americans who drink alcohol and drive over the past three decades.
In 1982, for example, more than 20,000 people died in drunk-driving accidents in the United States. By 2013, that number was halved to approximately 10,000. There continue to be substantial reductions in incidents of drunk driving, with convictions for the offense dropping by 33 percent since 2007.
Unfortunately, while the number of people who drink and drive is decreasing, the number of those who use drugs and drive appears to be on the rise. A 2015 survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revealed that nearly 22 percent of drivers had driven while under the influence of at least one drug in the previous year. This number included both illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, and legal ones, such as prescription painkillers and over-the-counter antihistamines.
While many in the general public may believe that a driver on drugs is not as dangerous as a driver under the influence of alcohol, public health experts stress that this perception is far from accurate. Both legal and illegal drugs negatively impact a driver’s ability to follow traffic laws, respond to changing conditions on the road, and accurately judge the distance from others vehicles and objects, all of which can have dangerous and even deadly results.
If you or your loved one has been injured, by a driver on drugs or by some other means, please contact GWC Injury Lawyers for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries. Call our office 24/7 at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives today.