Posted On: January 30, 2011

Toddler Suffers Serious Injuries after Falling down Hotel Elevator Shaft in Joliet, IL

A two year old boy suffered very serious injuries including severe head trauma after he fell down an elevator shaft in Joliet, IL, on Monday. The incident occurred at the Plaza Hotel in Joliet, IL, around 3:30 p.m. According to published reports, the boy was unattended in the elevator when he started playing with the elevator buttons. The boy reportedly hit an emergency stop button at which point the doors opened exposing a 10 inch gap between the elevator and the walls. The toddler fell through this gap all the way to the hotel basement floor. The boy was reportedly first taken to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet before being airlifted to Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He was in a coma on Monday but has reportedly improved as he is now able to open his eyes and move his hands.

In the wake of the tragic elevator accident, two elevator inspectors were suspended by the State of Illinois. A spokesperson for the Illinois State fire marshal, the entity that oversees elevator inspections, has indicated that disciplinary measures could be forthcoming once an investigation is complete. The elevator reportedly passed inspection on October 26th. It had reportedly failed an inspection earlier that month due to a incomplete pressure test. The elevator is now out of service. The State has reportedly required that the hotel make upgrades to its elevators.

If you have any questions regarding injuries in the State of Illinois and would like to speak with an experienced attorney, please click here.

UPDATE: The Joliet chief building inspector has determined that a building code violation may have played a role in the elevator accident. The switch panel that the child used to stop the elevator between floors should have required a key for operation and should have also been stored behind a locked panel.

Posted On: January 28, 2011

Chicago Car Accident Claims Life of Teen and City Worker

A teenager was pronounced dead days after a Chicago car accident that occurred in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood. The fatal Chicago car crash also claimed the life of a 26 year old city worker. Reports indicate that the teen, a 16 year-old boy, was a passenger in a Ford Focus that struck a Ford Escape near the intersection of Damen Ave. and 21st St. at 1:30 a.m. last Saturday January 22nd. The Ford Focus was allegedly heading west on 21st street when it struck the vehicle that was northbound on Damen. The force of the crash was such that both vehicles were pushed into several parked cars and then onto the curb and into a tree. Both of the drivers involved in the fatal Chicago car crash had to be extricated from their vehicles by members of the Chicago Fire Department.

The city worker was a longtime veteran of the Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Traffic Services where she was a field vehicle investigator. The teenager was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital around 9:33 a.m. on January 24, 2011, according to a spokesperson from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The young Chicago boy’s conditioned had reportedly stabilized before he was pronounced dead. An autopsy of the teen is scheduled for today. The Chicago police Major Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.

If you have been involved in a fatal Chicago car accident you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible as crucial evidence will need to be preserved. To speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney, please click here.

Posted On: January 21, 2011

Tinley Park Mental Health Center Psychologist Charged with Sexual Abuse

A psychologist at the Tinley Park Mental Health Center has been charged with sexual misconduct with a person with a disability and with official misconduct stemming from his alleged conduct with a patient at the State of Illinois run facility. According to reports, 66 year old Robert Eizinga of Tinley Park, IL, has been accused of manipulating and misleading a psychological patient into engaging in sexual acts with him and then offering her money to keep quiet. The accused has been an employee of the Illinois Department of Human Services for over 20 years. In that capacity he has both counseled psychological patients and worked as a court liaison to the state’s attorney’s office and to the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission health attorneys.

A news release from the Cook County State’s Attorneys Office has indicated that the victim was a 45 year old woman admitted to the institution for depression on April 25th. Eizinga allegedly threatened to keep the victim at the facility or transfer her to another mental health hospital unless she acquiesced to his sexual advances. The sexual abuse victim reportedly contacted her sister following the second instance of sexual contact at which point the victim was discharged from the facility. Eizinga then reportedly purchased a cellular telephone for the sexual abuse victim and gave her money in the hopes that she would not go to the police. The victim filed a formal complaint on May 12 at which time the accused was placed on administrative leave. He appeared in the Circuit Court of Cook County Bridgeview on Thursday where bail was set at $150,000.00.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse in the greater Chicago area and would like to speak with an experienced sexual abuse attorney, please click here.

Posted On: January 20, 2011

North Suburban Chicago Motorist Involved in DUI Car Accident was Five Times the Legal Limit

Information was released earlier this week indicating that a Chicago area motorist that was involved in a north suburban car accident had a blood alcohol content approximately five times the legal limit. The Chicago car crash occurred around 11:30 p.m. on January 14th on McCormick Boulevard at Oakton Avenue in Skokie, IL. According to reports, the allegedly intoxicated driver crossed over the double yellow lines striking a northbound Toyota head-on. Police have indicated that the accused, 46 year old Erdenebileg Dorj of Chicago, was operating an Audi at the time of the car accident. A blood test subsequently revealed that the accused’s blood alcohol content registered at .425 percent. The legal limit in Illinois is .08.

The allegedly intoxicated driver’s Audi struck a Toyota vehicle head on. The driver of the Toyota reported seeing the Audi cross into the wrong lane and bracing for the collision soon thereafter. Dorj was taken to St. Francis Hospital where he reportedly had to be restrained by Hospital personnel. He has been charged with DUI and multiple other offenses and is scheduled to appear in the Circuit Court of Cook County Skokie courthouse in late February.

Alcohol related car accidents are often dangerous and severe. If you have been the victim of a DUI related car crash and would like to speak with an experienced Chicago personal injury attorney, please click here.

Posted On: January 18, 2011

Lake County, IL, Coroner Deputy Charged with Sexual Abuse of Minor

Lake County, IL, prosecutors have confirmed that a senior deputy for the Lake County coroner’s office has been charged with offenses related to the sexual abuse of a teenage girl. The accused, 42 year old Robert Barrett of Lindenhurst, IL, has been accused of repeated molestation of a teenage girl according to a spokesperson for the Office of the Lake County State’s Attorney. That spokesperson also indicated that the childhood sexual abuse victim claimed that the inappropriate contact had occurred about two to three times a week over an unspecified time period. A witness reportedly saw the deputy in a compromising position with the alleged sexual abuse victim on Sunday. The sexual abuse victim has been taken to the Children’s Advocacy Center for interviewing.

Barrett was arrested on Sunday when he showed up for work at the Lake County Coroner’s Office according to Lake County Coroner Richard Keller. The accused was then taken to Vista Medical Center West in Waukegan for evaluation for fear that he might be suicidal. He has been placed on administrative leave pending a police investigation into the sexual abuse allegations. The State’s Attorneys office has indicated that additional charges may be forthcoming pending the outcome of that investigation. The Lake County Coroner did not comment on the matter citing the fact that it is an ongoing investigation.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse in or around Chicago, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. If you would like to contact an Illinois sexual abuse attorney with more than twenty nine years of experience, please click here.

Posted On: January 16, 2011

Pedestrian Struck and Killed by Train in Berwyn, IL

A pedestrian was killed on January 13th in Berwyn, IL, when he was struck by a train at the East Avenue crossing of the Burlington North Santa Fe line. The tragic Chicago train accident occurred at about 6:25 p.m. According to Berwyn Police, the male pedestrian was struck by an inbound train that was reportedly scheduled to arrive in the city at 6:42 p.m. The Chicago train accident delayed Metra service on the North Santa Fe line for about an hour. A train that was initially scheduled to depart Union Station for Downers Grove at 7 p.m. was cancelled as a result of the fatal Chicago train crash.

Emergency response personnel were able to determine that the man had died and was to be taken from the scene of the fatal accident to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The Cook County medical examiner was not able to provide further information about the train accident victim as of 8 p.m. Thursday evening. The fatal Chicago train crash is still being investigated by local authorities.
Chicago area train crossings can be very dangerous for pedestrians and motorists alike.

The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that about 247 people were killed in vehicle-train accidents in the U.S. in 2009 and that another 431 died on or near train tracks. If you have any questions regarding train accident in and around Chicago or would otherwise like to speak with an attorney, please click here.

Posted On: January 12, 2011

Chicago Taxi Cab Driver Accused of Fondling Customer

A Chicago cab driver was charged with one count of criminal sexual abuse by force following allegations that the driver had fondled a customer on the evening of December 24, 2010. The sexual abuse victim, who is an employee of Butch McGuire’s in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, testified that she was in the taxicab on her way home from work when the abuse occurred. She testified that she hailed a United cab around 1:15 a.m. outside Butch McGuire’s and requested that the driver take her to the Southwest side. She alleges that while the cab was on the expressway the driver told her she was very attractive an started to stroke her hair. After she brushed his hand away, she testified that he reached into her open coat and grabbed her chest. The alleged sexual abuse victim also claims that the cab driver attempted to force his hand into her groin area several times. She was eventually dropped off at her place of residence.

A roommate of hers reportedly went outside and hailed a police officer when she arrived home. The cab driver, 28 year old Mohammad Assafa of Chicago, IL, was arrested soon thereafter near the intersection of Kedzie and 16th streets. The accused is free on a $25,000.00 bond.

If you have any questions regarding sexual abuse victims’ rights in or around Chicago, please click here.

Posted On: January 8, 2011

Community Remembers Special Education Teacher Killed in Chicago area Bus Accident

Residents in and around Bourbannais, IL, are mourning the loss of a loss of a 20 year veteran of the police auxiliary and special education teacher that was killed in a bus accident on Monday. The tragic accident occurred at the busy intersection of North Convent and John Casey roads in Bourbannais as the victim was escorting a special needs student to a local convenience store. Reports indicate that the bus accident victim was struck and killed as he pushed the special needs student out of the way of the bus. The driver of the River Valley Metro Mass Transit bus told police that she did not see the victim prior to the collision. Police continue to investigate the tragic bus accident and no citations have been issued to date.

The accident victim, Thomas ‘Jim’ Dunn, is now being mourned by the community in and around Bourbannais, IL. Dunn had worked as a computer technician in the Kankakee public school district prior to his becoming an aide at Camelot Therapeutic Day School in Bourbannais. He was an avid history buff and was frequent participant at adaptive baseball games and French-Indian war reenactments. The mother of the special education student whom Dunn saved was quoted as calling the deceased an ‘angel from heaven’.

For more information about accident victims rights in Illinois, please click here.

Posted On: January 6, 2011

Vehicle Crashes into Chicago Restaurant Injuring Three

A North side Chicago car accident left three people injured at the corner of Western and Addison avenues on Wednesday of this week. According to published reports, the Chicago car accident occurred when a vehicle crashed into Hero’s Submarine shop at that location. The car accident left three injured at the north side restaurant.

The driver of the vehicle that crashed into the building was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago’s Ravenswood neighborhood in critical condition. A 16 year old accident victim was also taken to Illinois Masonic in critical condition. A 15 year old victim of the Chicago car accident was taken to Children’s Memorial Hospital in serious condition. The Chicago Fire Department has not released a lot of information regarding the Chicago car accident but a spokesperson did indicate that the two teenage victims of the car crash were probably students at nearby Lane Tech Prep High School. Lane Tech is situated directly across the street from the restaurant where the accident occurred. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances regarding the Chicago car accident. No information has been released as to whether the driver of the vehicle has been issued any citations.

If you have been involved in a Chicago area car accident or have suffered a personal injury as a result of the negligence of another person you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to investigate your claim and explore your rights. To speak with an experienced Chicago injury attorney right now, please click here.


Posted On: January 5, 2011

Plainfield, IL, Teacher Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minor

A South Suburban Chicago teacher has been accused of sexual abuse in connection with an alleged sexual relationship between the teacher and a 16 year old student. The accused, 27 year old Ashley Blumenshine of Lisle, IL, has been formally charged with criminal sexual abuse stemming from an encounter in the back of a vehicle on Tuesday night. According to reports, local police authorities approached a vehicle behind a department store on the 11800 block of South Illinois Highway 59 in Plainfield, IL. The vehicle, which was isolated from any others in the parking lot, allegedly contained the teacher and a 16 year old student. The Will County State’s Attorney has indicated that both the teacher and the sexual abuse victim admitted to having sex in the car.

The accused educator is a physical education teacher who has taught in the district since 2006. She is reportedly a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbannais, IL. Plainfield District 202 released a statement yesterday indicating the district would take appropriate action once the accused teacher is released. Bail was set at $75,000 at a hearing in Joliet, IL. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a felony punishable by three to seven years in jail.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual abuse in Illinois, you should contact an experienced attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding the abuse and protect your rights. The Klest Law Firm has over twenty eight years of experience advocating on behalf of sexual abuse victims in and around Illinois. To speak with an attorney from the Klest Law Firm, please click here.

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