Dwight Washington, a truck driver for the city of Chicago, allegedly had an open bottle of brandy and twice the legal blood alcohol level at the time he plowed a city truck into seven pedestrians on a crowded sidewalk. Now, MyFox Chicago is reporting that victims of the crash have sued both Washington and the city.
According to Fox, Washington was driving a city-owned Ford F-150 pickup truck around noon in the crowded Gold Coast neighborhood. Eyewitness accounts report Washington driving at an excessive speed when he lost control of the truck and drove into a crowd of people on the sidewalk. Prosecutors stated that Washington had an open bottle of E&J Brandy next to him at the time of the accident and that he had a 0.183 blood alcohol level (twice the legal limit).
Victims of Dwight Washington's DUI include a toddler, a nanny, and models posing for a wedding photo shoot. All seven victims were hospitalized and two remain in critical condition.
Washington, 61, has been charged with four counts of felony aggravated DUI and two counts of misdemeanor DUI. Washington was also cited for transporting open alcohol in a vehicle, failure to reduce speed, and negligent driving.
Along with the criminal charges, Fox reports that the nanny and representatives of the toddler have sued Washington for damages. The nanny is reportedly in serious condition at the hospital, while the toddler has already been discharged.
The lawsuit includes counts against both Washington and the city of Chicago. An attorney for the victims stated, "There was a drunken city worker driving a city truck in a crowded neighborhood. In addition, based on eyewitness accounts, the city truck was traveling at an excessive speed. Someone with the city of Chicago should have prevented this."
You can expect Dwight Washington's DUI to have a long-lasting impact on Chicago city workers and supervisors. According to the Chicago Tribune, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has already ordered Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne to investigate the accident and recommend steps to take to prevent future incidents. One question that Byrne needs to answer is how a city supervisor could have handed over the keys to a truck to an intoxicated person.
- Search for a Chicago DUI Attorney (FindLaw)
- Rahm Emanuel wants tighter supervision after Streets and San worker accused of DUI (Chicago Tribune)
- DUI - The Basics (FindLaw)