Wednesday, July 15, 2015

United Airlines Employee Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run of Bicyclist in Elk Grove Village

Police have arrested 54-year old Daniel Wehr of Morton Grove with a felony in the fatal hit-and-run of a bicyclist on Monday night. According to news reports, 25-year old Jose Gomez of Des Plaines was killed in the collision with the vehicle driven by Wehr. According to reports, Wehr was driving a United Airlines vehicle at the time of the crash near his work at a United Airlines facility.  

Wehr fled the scene but police were able to locate a license plate at the scene of the fatal crash. The license plate led police to a vehicle and the subsequent investigation led them to be able to identify it as the vehicle in the fatal bicycle crash. The vehicle, described as a large SUV, was owned by United Airlines and was located at a nearby United Airlines facility where Wehr worked as a maintenance worker. Wehr was arrested within hours of the fatal bicycle accident. 

Wehr apparently has claimed that he "didn't see" the bicyclist until the crash. Illinois law requires that all motorists "keep a proper lookout" for other vehicles on the roadway. Under Illinois law, a bicycle is a vehicle on the roadway. There are no reports, however, that detail how the collision on Algonquin Road occurred. Wehr could face additional legal charges as the investigation continues. Wehr has thus far only been charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal collision. Illinois law specifically provides that a motorist must not flee the scene of a collision. Section 11-401(a) of the Illinois Vehicle Code states: 
"The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of such accident, or as close thereto as possible and shall then forthwith return to, and in every event shall remain at the scene of the accident until the requirements of Section 11-403 have been fulfilled."
Section 11-403 of the Illinois Motor Vehicle Code also states the law as to what a driver in a fatal bicycle crash must do: 
"The driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle which is driven or attended by any person shall give the driver’s name, address, registration number and owner of the vehicle the driver is operating and shall upon request and if available exhibit such driver’s license to the person struck or the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle collided with an shall render to any person injured in such accident reasonable assistance, including the carrying or the making of arrangements for the carrying of such person to the physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that such treatment is necessary or if such carrying is requested by the injured person."
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jose Gomez. 

Keating Law Offices is the premiere personal injury law firm representing victims of bicycle accidents in Illinois. Attorney Michael S. Keating is the Chair of the national trial lawyers association's bicycle litigation committee. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and represents clients throughout Illinois. If you have any questions regarding this post or have a question regarding personal injury law, please contact Illinois Bicycle Attorney Michael S. Keating at 312-208-7702 or 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All e-mails and phone calls are returned promptly. All initial consultations are confidential and free.