Charges Expected Against Manicured Driver in Fatal Crash

Police say driver ran red light as motorcycle sat waiting for green

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A motorcyclist was killed over the weekend after being struck by a car driven by a woman who was painting her fingernails at the time of the crash.

    Anita Zaffke, of Lake Zurich, was wearing a helmet when she was hit from behind by a Chevy Impala at a stop light Saturday evening at Route 12 and Old McHenry Road, the Chicago Tribune reported.

    Motorcyclist Killed

    [CHI] Motorcyclist Killed
    A woman said she was busy painting her fingernails when she struck and killed a biker.

    "It appears to be a tragic accident and it appears (Zaffke) did nothing wrong," Lake County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Scott Morrison said. "She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and she could not have done anything to avoid it."

    Her son, Greg, told the Tribune that his mother was wearing a bright yellow biker's jacket.

    Zaffke was thrown "a couple of hundred feet" by the impact, the Lake County Coroner said.

    The driver of the Impala, Lora Hunt, 48, of Morris, told police she was painting her fingernails as she approached the red light at that corner, and she apparently didn't see the motorcycle.

    Driver Painting Nails Strikes, Kills Motorcyclist

    [CHI] Driver Painting Nails Strikes, Kills Motorcyclist
    A motorcycle enthusiast was thrown "a couple hundred feet" from her bike after being rear-ended by a driver who was painting her fingernails.

    "She conceded to us that she was not paying attention, did not see the motorcycle in front of her, stopped, really was oblivious to what was transpiring around her," said Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran.

    Lake County Coroner Richard Keller said that Zaffke died from chest and abdominal injuries about an hour later at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington.

    Morrison said Hunt was cited with failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and could face additional charges. The Lake County State's Attorney's office says it's looking into criminal charges, as well.

    "We are looking into charges in the case,"  Assistant State's Attorney Patricia Fix said this morning. "But we are waiting for results of blood and urine tests and waiting for the results of an accident reconstruction, as well as any other technical evidence we can derive from the scene."

    “There’s a lot of analysis they still have to work out on the vehicle involved in the crash to determine speed and braking,” Morrison said. “The investigation is ongoing but there should be charges against the woman in the very near future.”

    Zaffke's son, Greg, a soccer coach at Barrington High School, said he will be painting his fingernails black in his mother's memory, and he said he hopes his students will do the same.