Popular Chicago skateboarder dies in hit-and-run car accident

Friends are mourning the death of an affable and sociable Chicago skateboarder after he was hit by a drunk driver earlier this month. According to one of the man’s longtime friends, who was with him at the time of the accident, the man was traveling on his skateboard in a bike lane during the early morning hours of Oct. 19.

From across the street, the friend saw an oncoming car gain speed as it approached the skateboarder. It struck the man, violently catapulting him into the air. The injuries he sustained in the collision were severe. Emergency responders brought him to the hospital, where doctors placed him in a coma. One week later, the 42-year-old man succumbed to his injuries.

The driver fled the scene after critically injuring the skateboarder, but was apprehended by police soon after. Tests revealed that the man’s blood alcohol content was 0.18. He is being held without bail and has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving an injury and aggravated DUI, among other offenses. Prosecutors indicated that those charges could be enhanced because the crash caused the skateboarder’s death.

According to the friend, the skateboarder was outgoing, friendly and an inspiration for countless skateboarders around Chicago. His influence and reputation extended well beyond the city, however. Noted skateboarding legend Tony Hawk also lamented his unfortunate passing.

Drunk driving accidents are exceptionally distressing because they are eminently preventable. People have a choice about whether to get behind the wheel after they have been drinking, and those who decide to drive fail to abide by the standard of care that the law demands of them.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Man dies week after being hit by car while skateboarding,” Dawn Rhodes, Oct. 27, 2012