Lawsuit filed in sidewalk crash; city driver faces DUI

May 24, 2011 4:36:40 AM PDT
A nanny pushed a child in her care out of the way of a City of Chicago truck that jumped a curb and careened onto a sidewalk, injuring eight.

Dwight Washington, the driver of that pickup truck, has been charged with DUI. The Streets and Sanitation worker lost control of his pickup truck and plowed into a group on State Street near the three-way intersection of Rush, Cedar and State on Saturday. Police say Washington, 61, had a blood alcohol level of .183. Officers also found an open bottle of brandy inside his truck, officials said.

Eight people were injured, including Jennifer Anton.

Anton, a nanny, was pushing 20-month-old Tyler Jones in a stroller when Washington's truck swerved on to the sidewalk. She pushed the girl out of harm's way before she was struck and badly injured.

The family Anton sits for has filed a lawsuit against Washington and the City of Chicago. "I think that Jen Anton is an angel on this earth," Hugh Jones said. "If she didn't do what she did my daughter Tyler wouldn't be alive today."

Tyler has a possible leg fracture. Anton was seriously injured and remains hospitalized.

"Jen's injuries are the bottom half of her body, her pelvis was broken, her hips, her legs and she suffered what I'm calling attack injuries to the skin and legs where the tissue has been torn," Daniel Kotin, victim's attorney. Attorneys Corboy and Demetrio represent both Anton and the Jones' family. They filed two civil suits alleging negligence.

Washington appeared in court Monday. He is being held on $400,000 bond. He faces four counts of felony aggravated DUI and two counts of misdemeanor DUI.

Washington, who has worked for the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation since 2006, was reprimanded for a driving accident in March 2010. No alcohol was involved in the earlier crash.

According to the Illinois secretary of state's office, Washington has a clean personal driving record.

The city began termination procedures Monday morning to fire Washington.

"What happened on the job, I don't know about that. I hope everything turns out good for him and keep him in my prayers," Michael Collins, Washington family friend.


Load Comments