Fingernail-Painting Driver Guilty of Reckless Homicide

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lora Hunt was convicted of reckless homicide after crashing into Anita Zaffke in Lake Zurich in 2009. (Published Friday, May 7, 2010)

    After two days of testimony, a Lake County jury has found a 49-year-old woman who was painting her fingernails before a deadly crash guilty of reckless homicide.

    There was no reaction from Lora Hunt as she was convicted in the May 2, 2009 crash that killed a Lake Zurich motorcyclist.

    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. (Published Monday, May 4, 2009)

    Anita Zaffke was sitting on her bike at an intersection when Hunt's Chevy Impala slammed into her about 50 mph.  Zaffke was thrown several hundred feet and later died at a hospital.

    "There are no winners today.  There is no celebration or happiness," Zaffke's son, Greg, said after the verdict.  "Two families will forever carry the hurt and anguish caused by one person's reckless actions behind the wheel.  There is only the relief that the law has been applied and a precedent set to create safer streets for everyone on the road."

    Hunt testified earlier this week that she had been painting her nails, but put the polish aside as she approached the intersection of Route 12 and Old McHenry Road.

    Defense attorney Jeff Tomczak said other motorists around Zaffke's motorcycle went through the intersection on a yellow light. Zaffke stopped, giving Hunt "less than a half-second to react." 

    He said that while painting her nails was a "very, very stupid thing," the crash was just an accident, not an act of negligence.

    The eight-woman, four-man jury disagreed, convicting Hunt in just three-and-a-half hours after being handed the case.

    "I have not had a client, in 25 years, that has shown more remorse, more grief [and] more sympathy for the victim's family than Lora Hunt," said Tomczak.

    She faces up to five years in prison.  Sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
     

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