The family of an Illinois tollway worker killed in a hit-and-run accident last year is speaking out after coming face-to-face with the man accused of reckless homicide in the case.
48-year-old David Schwarz, a father of two, was doing everything right on the fateful September day that he was struck and killed by a semi-truck on the Tri-State tollway, Illinois State Police said.
Schwarz had pulled his vehicle as far off the road as he could, had his flashers and warning lights on, and had put up signs to alert traffic. Despite all of that, 26-year-old Christian Hannah allegedly struck and killed Schwarz, and then drove away from the scene.
“This was a horrific loss that shouldn’t have happened,” Schwarz family spokesman Joe Conboy said at a Friday press conference. “For the last four and a half months, the Schwarz family has gone to sleep knowing this man was still out there, hiding from his actions.”
That wait ended this week as Hannah turned himself in to authorities. Schwarz’s family was sitting in the front row of a courtroom Friday as charges were announced in the case.
According to prosecutors, state police say that the truck that Hannah was driving was reported as speeding and driving in the left lane, which violates truck lane restrictions on the tollway. Hannah was also allegedly driving in a reckless manner.
The Illinois Tollway Authority renewed its call for drivers to follow Scott’s Law, which mandates that drivers move over to the next lane when they see vehicles stopped on the shoulder.
“We are asking Illinois motorists to help avoid these tragedies by following the move over law without exception. We don’t want this to happen again,” Tollway Executive Director Greg Bedalov said.
Illinois State Police say they will step up enforcement of the law, which comes with a fine of up to $10,000.