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Streets and Sanitation driver, city sued in crash that injured toddler

Updated: May 23, 2011 12:54PM

The city and a Dept. of Streets & Sanitation truck driver who allegedly plowed into a crowd of people Saturday in the Gold Coast neighborhood have been sued by the parents and nanny of a toddler injured in the crash.

The truck driver, Dwight Washington, 61, has been charged with four counts of felony aggravated DUI and two counts of misdemeanor DUI, according to police. He was also cited for transporting open alcohol in a vehicle, failure to reduce speed and negligent driving.

Washington was driving a city-owned Ford F-150 pickup north on State Street when he lost control about 12:20 p.m. at the three-way intersection of Rush, Cedar and State, police said. The pedestrians, some of whom were models in a wedding photo shoot, were on the southeast corner.

The toddler was taken to Children’s Memorial Hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening. Six other pedestrians were injured, two critically, and Washington also was injured.

The lawfirm of Corboy and Demetrio, which filed the suits, sought and obtained an emergency order of protection, which was entered by Judge Michael Panter, requiring the city to preserve the truck, its contents, Washington’s personnel file, and any surveillance videotape so the firm and experts retained by the firm can inspect them, a release from the lawfirm said.

The suits were filed on behalf of 20-month-old Tyler Jones and her 25-year-old nanny Jennifer Anton, who was pushing the little girl in a stroller at the time of the crash, the release said.

The suits include counts against the city for negligent supervision of its employee. “There was a drunken city worker driving a city truck in a crowded neighborhood,” attorney Dan Kotin said. “In addition, based on eyewitness accounts, the city truck was traveling at an excessive speed. Someone with the city of Chicago should have prevented this.”

Anton suffered multiple severe fractures to her pelvis, hips and legs, and had an extensive amount of skin torn off her legs, the release said. She has undergone surgery and her condition remains serious, according to her attorneys.

The toddler has been discharged from Children’s Memorial, the release said. Her parents will have to follow up with orthopedic surgeons regarding a possible leg fracture, according to the release.

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