According to authorities, a 31-year-old Chicago woman has received a murder charge in connection with a car accident that resulted in the death of an off-duty police officer. On Sunday, a Cook County Bond Court ordered the woman to be kept in custody on a $10 million bond after being charged with first-degree murder, aggravated fleeing an accident causing bodily injury, aggravated DUI and possession of marijuana.
In the early morning hours last Friday, the woman was allegedly driving a white van pursued by a Calumet Park police officer when the car collision occurred. Witnesses on the scene claim the woman crashed into the off-duty policeman's black Lexus at the corner of South Lafayette Avenue and 87th Street just before 1 a.m. Authorities report that the police officer was attached to a special team in charge of patrolling Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods and was on his way home when the van struck him. His car was pushed into a light pole, killing him.
Allegedly, police officers witnessed a male passenger toss out three bags containing over four pounds of what appeared to be cannabis, and they supposedly found an additional four pounds of marijuana inside the vehicle. Both of the vehicle's inhabitants received marijuana possession charges, and the passenger received additional charges of manufacturing and delivery of cannabis.
Illinois state records reveal that the woman had multiple prior citations for speeding, driving without a license and disregarding yield or stop signs. Her criminal record also reveals charges and convictions in connection with shoplifting and retail theft in Cook County.
For many victims or surviving family members of a car wreck, litigation is the last thing on their minds, but sometimes it's the only way to hold drivers with no regard for the law responsible for their actions. Hard-working Americans who take responsibility for themselves and others should be able to travel our roadways without fear of harm.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "$10M bond for woman charged in crash that killed off-duty officer" Jonathan Bullington, Mar. 16, 2014