An Oak Lawn man has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and child endangerment following an Easter morning wrong-way crash in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood that left four hospitalized.
At approximately 6:45 a.m. on April 16, 2017, Roderick E. Smith, 39, was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive, near the 4800 block, with an 8-year-old boy as his passenger. Mr. Smith then collided with another vehicle head on, severely injuring four people.
Emergency responders transported the 8-year-old boy to Comer Children’s Hospital in critical condition. A 28-year-old woman and a 54-year-old man were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition, while a fourth individual was transported to John Stroger Hospital in critical condition.
Chicago Police charged Mr. Smith with driving under the influence of alcohol, improperly transporting or carrying alcohol, endangering a child, driving the wrong way on a one-way street, not wearing a seat belt, and driving without a license or permit.
WRONG-WAY CRASHES AND INTOXICATED DRIVERS
According to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board, while wrong-way crashes are rare, accounting for approximately 3 percent of collisions, they have an especially high fatality rate, with head-on collisions likely the most fatal type of car accident.
More than 60 percent of at-fault drivers in wrong-way crashes are cited with driving under the influence of alcohol, meaning that they have blood alcohol contents in excess of Illinois’ legal limit of 0.08 percent.
GWC prosecutes a wide variety of injury cases throughout Illinois, including those involving wrong-way crashes, intoxicated drivers, workers’ compensation, construction accidents, medical malpractice, and product liability. If you or your loved one has been injured from a wrong-way crash, an intoxicated driver, or by some other means, please contact our office for a free legal consultation to see if you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries.