Maria Schwab Killed In Chicago Car Accident Near House of Blue
Pedestrian Accident - December 9, 2023
Maria Schwab Died In River North, Chicago Pedestrian Accident With Off-Duty Police Officer Near House of Blues Along North State Street
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (December 9, 2023) – A female pedestrian identified as Maria Schwab was killed in River North car accident with an off-duty Chicago police officer.
Cook County officials are saying that the incident began around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday. A 40-year-old off-duty police officer in an Infiniti SUV lost control of her vehicle before jumping the curb.
That officer went onto the sidewalk before hitting Maria Schwab. Paramedics were called to the scene of the collision in order to help the victim.
She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with critical injuries. Sadly, Maria Schwab was later pronounced dead by medical staff.
The off-duty officer told authorities that she dropped her phone and took her eyes off the road before the crash. She has been cited for negligent driving, driving while using a phone, failing to reduce speed and failing to stay in one lane of traffic.
A full investigation into the crash remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Chicago Pedestrian Accidents
Thousands of pedestrians are killed or seriously injured every year in car accidents. According to the National Safety Council, “The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) estimates 8,984 pedestrians died in traffic or non-traffic incidents in 2021. Non-traffic incidents occur on non-traffic ways such as driveways, parking lots, or other private property.” There are a number of common causes of pedestrian accidents.
- Distracted driving
- Inclement weather
- Poor road conditions
All drivers have a legal obligation to use caution in order to avoid hitting pedestrians. Pursuant to Illinois Vehicle Code 625 ILCS 5/11-1003.1, every driver must exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian. They must also use their horn when necessary and exercise the proper precaution to avoid colliding with any child or obviously confused person. When a driver fails to slow down to avoid hitting a pedestrian, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim.
Depending on the facts of any case, a police department could be liable for the actions of one of their officers. This is true even if the officer in question was technically off-duty. Consider, for example, Harris County v. Gibbons. An officer may have been glancing at their phone or computer terminal for a work related action. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any car accident involving a police officer.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Surveillance footage should be sought.
- The actions of the officer prior to the crash should be understood.
- All medical records related to the crash should be examined.
The vast majority of pedestrian accidents are preventable and involve some amount of driver error. They tend to involve people who were distracted or traveling at an unsafe speed. Sadly, police departments will often do everything that they can to deny liability if one of their officers is involved in a collision. This is why it is so important that evidence is properly preserved after any collision.
Investigating Chicago Pedestrian Accidents
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Maria Schwab. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. This was a highly preventable tragedy that should have never taken place. There needs to be some accountability for the sake of the victims family.
Do you need more information about a Chicago pedestrian accident? Our team of pedestrian safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that negligent drivers are held accountable for their actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any collision we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.