A former Chicago Streets and Sanitation employee has pleaded guilty to charges that he was drunk when he crashed a city truck into a group of people on Gold Coast sidewalk last May. NBC Chicago's Charlie Wojciechowski spoke with the most seriously injured victim and her attorney.
A former Chicago Streets and Sanitation employee has pleaded guilty to charges that he was drunk when he crashed a city truck into a group of people on Gold Coast sidewalk last May.
A distant, sullen Dwight Washington, 62, declined an offer from Judge James B. Linn to address the court during his appearance Friday.
Five victims took the stand to offer details on what life has been like since the May 21, 2011 crash at Rush and Cedar streets.
In his defense, Washington's public defender said Washington was unexpectedly called into work and was afraid he would lose his job if he told his boss he'd been drinking.
The most seriously injured was a nanny, Jen Anton, who was pushing a then-20 month-old toddler in a stroller when the truck came barreling toward her.
"He caused so much pain and so much hardship," Anton said of Washington. "I hope he knows what he did and understands."
In speaking to the press nearly two months after the crash, Anton said she'd already had 11 surgeries and that her medical bills were well above $1 million.
Anton has since sued the city. At least two other lawsuit have been filed, including claims by Stephen Dewart, who was part of a group depicting a wedding shoot, and Hugh Jones, the father of the toddler who was in the stroller.
Washington, who no longer works for the city, is scheduled to be sentenced next Wednesday. He faces between one and 24 years in prison.