The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Pedestrian Struck By Drunk Chicago Streets And San Worker Receives $6.25 Million Settlement From City

By Chuck Sudo in News on Dec 10, 2012 9:20PM

Dwight Washington was drunk when his truck jumped the curb and plowed into pedestrians in May 2011. (Photo courtesy Chicago Police Department.)
The city has agreed to pay $6.25 million to a man who suffered brain damage when a Department of Streets and Sanitation worker who was drunk on the job drove his vehicle into pedestrians last year.

Dwight Washington was charged with felony aggravated DUI, two counts of misdemeanor DUI, transporting alcohol and failing to reduce speed in May 2011 when his city truck jumped the curb in the Viagra Triangle and plowed into the crowd. Washington injured seven people, including a toddler girl, in the crash, but the most severe injuries were sustained by Richard Chang, who suffered brain damage, had to learn to walk and talk again, and still has costly medical bills. Police at the scene smelled alcohol on Washington’s breath and found a bottle of brandy in the seat of the truck. Washington blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit, which led to questions as to how his supervisors handed him the keys to a truck if he was so obviously drunk.

As a laborer assigned to collect debris and empty garbage cans, Washington was not subject to random drug and alcohol tests like the ones for city employees with commercial driver’s licenses. Four other lawsuits related to the accident are still pending against Washington and the city.