A Chicago man is accused of covering up a pedestrian accident that has left a woman in a coma. Authorities say that the 27-year-old man ran over the 52-year-old pedestrian in the West Garfield Park neighborhood last Wednesday evening around 9 p.m. The driver then waited four days to turn himself in.
The man turned himself in on Friday night and complained at the imposition of a $300,000 bond for his charges of failing to report a crash, fleeing the scene of a car accident and failure to show due to care for a pedestrian.
Pedestrian accidents are fairly common in the Chicago area and have increased at a time when car accident fatalities are at historical lows. The decrease in car accident fatalities is mostly due to the increased use of seat belts and other safety features of vehicles. None of these safety features help pedestrians however, who face growing numbers of drivers who are distracted by smartphones and other mobile devices.
Hit-and-run drivers are a frequent problem in pedestrian accidents. Drivers often fear criminal charges related to distracted driving or intoxicated driving. Drivers who flee the scene of a crash often make it more likely that a pedestrian will be hit by a second car or fail to get critical emergency services on time.
The 27-year-old man accused of causing the West Garfield Park crash reportedly changed the broken windshield of his Buick before he turned himself in. The Chicago Tribune also reports that another pedestrian was hit on the same block four days earlier. That accident also involved another hit-and-run driver.