Wife of man killed in distracted driving case speaks out

November 8, 2011 3:49:46 PM PST
A north suburban man was changing a flat tire when he was struck and killed by a driver who police say was distracted using her cell phone. His widow is talking about her loss and her hope that the driver will be charged.

Elvieta Niepsuj's life was changed on August 1, 2011 when her husband, Marcin Niepsuj, 39, was struck by Kelly Luch, 23, on the northbound shoulder of Route 53. He died a month later at Lutheran General Hospital. His wife says she lost the love of her life and the father of her two girls, 17-year-old Olivia and 14-year-old Caroline.

"Just came from nowhere and hit him and punch him and drag him along the highway. So she said she come out from the car and ask my husband if he is okay, he said, 'call the ambulance,'" said Niepsuj.

Luch, of Buffalo Grove, was cited with driving on the shoulder and texting while driving.

"I want others [to be] aware to not using electronic devices while they [are] driving. I want to say...texting...is not worth losing your life," Niepsuj said.

Niepsuj and her husband were married for 18 years. They came to the United States from Poland looking for a better life. Now she says she feels empty, hopeless and powerless.

According to the Cook County Clerk's records, the traffic citation against Luch was dropped in October after the victim died. Mrs. Niepsuj says she understands the charges were dismissed to allow the Illinois State Police to investigate. She believes more serious charges are pending.

"My life right now, it is miserable because I feel heartbroken that my kids don't have a father," said Niepsuj.

Mrs. Niepsuj says she now has to go on with her life for the sake of her daughters.

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