A Near North Side hit-and-run incident has left one woman dead and another injured, according to authorities.
Woman Struck Repeatedly in Near North Side Hit-and-Run
On August 10, 2020, at approximately 10:32 p.m., 25-year-old Edgar Roman was reportedly driving a silver Ford Explorer SUV westbound on East Hubbard Street when he struck 55-year-old Zoraleigh Ryan of Chandler, Arizona and her 20-year-old daughter, who were crossing the street and about to enter the Courtyard Marriott.
According to eyewitnesses, the SUV stopped and Mr. Roman got out, standing approximately ten feet away as a bystander tended to the women. Then he got back into the SUV, made a U-turn down the street, and came at them again. The bystander was able to pull the daughter clear, but Ms. Ryan was struck and dragged down the block. She died at the scene.
Mr. Roman then allegedly sped off, crashing into barricades as he eluded police. He was arrested later that night after he went to the Albany Park District Police Station, where he claimed that he had been carjacked by two armed men who forced him to drive around at gunpoint. He then admitted to police that he had hit Ms. Ryan and her daughter. Mr. Roman has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He has been ordered held on $2 million bond for the Near North Side hit-and-run.
Zoraleigh Ryan’s daughter was treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and released.
Hit-And-Run Accident Victims Face Significant Challenges
Hit-and-run accidents have serious legal consequences in Illinois. A hit-and-run that inflicts injury is classified as a Class 2 Felony, which carries a possible sentence of as much as seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $25,000.00. And if someone is killed, it becomes a Class 1 Felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
But even with such significant penalties, incidents like the Near North Side hit-and-run accident still happen. In fact, they could be on the rise in the United States. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that:
- Eleven percent of all American car accidents involve hit-and-run drivers;
- There is over one hit-and-run accident per minute;
- There have been approximately 682,000 hit-and-run accidents annually since 1986; and
- There were 2,049 American hit-and-run deaths in 2016, which represented a 62 percent increase from 2009, the last year that showed a downward trend in national hit-and-run deaths.
What is especially troubling is that hit-and-run accident victims face greater challenges when seeking financial compensation, since drivers who leave the scene of hit-and-run accidents do not exchange insurance information – assuming they have insurance at all.
But even with these challenges, it can still be possible for hit-and-run accident victims to obtain compensation. An injured person might be able to uncover the hit-and-run driver’s insurance policy and pursue a claim against it if that driver is located. If that driver either cannot be found or lacks adequate insurance coverage, a plaintiff could potentially seek financial damages from an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) policy.
Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Fighting for Justice
But even though hit-and-run accidents may offer multiple avenues of recovery, a successful outcome is not guaranteed. To increase your chances of being fully and fairly compensated, retain the car accident attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers LLC.
With over $2 billion recovered in verdicts and settlements on behalf of injured clients, GWC is one of the premier Personal Injury and Workers’ Compensation law firms in Illinois. No other Plaintiff law firm in the state is more respected, or more feared, by its opponents, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Let our dedicated Chicago car accident lawyers get you and your family the justice you deserve.
If you have been wrongfully injured in a car accident, contact GWC today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. You may call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with a representative at any time.