The family of a woman struck and killed by a minivan is suing the driver of the vehicle and the Music Center of Deerfield for wrongful death.
Late last week the family of Lucinda Rondon-Stanley, 53, of Evanston, filed a wrongful death lawsuit after she was hit by a minivan and died. The incident occurred near a downtown Deerfield bakery when Rondon-Stanley was walking in a “parking lot in the 800 block of Waukegan Road after she had just picked up a birthday cake from the bakery for her daughter’s 21st birthday.” She was struck by the minivan around 11:30 a.m. on September 13. According to the suit, the van was “being driven by an representative of Music Center of Deerfield.”
The suit was filed against the driver of the van, Lawrence Biernacki, and a business near the bakery where Rondon-Stanley was struck. Immediately following the crash, she was rushed to Highland Park Hospital, but was tragically pronounced dead just after noon. According to the Lake County Coroner’s office, she “died of blunt force injuries as the result of the crash.”
The suit itself was filed in Cook County Court on Wednesday and named Biernacki and the Music Center of Deerfield. According to the suit, the driver, “while representing the music store, failed to keep a safe and proper lookout for pedestrians, failed to avoid hitting Rondon-Stanley and failed to stop his vehicle after striking her, dragging her underneath the van.”
To make matters worse, members of the Deerfield police said Biernacki even “fled the scene after hitting her,” though he “was apprehended within the area shortly after the crash.” Since being apprehended, the driver has been “cooperating with authorities during the investigation.” So far charges haven’t been filed in the case, though authorities are still investigating the incident. Brian Budny, deputy police chief of patrol for Deerfield said, “Upon completion of the investigation, the matter will be presented to the Lake County State’s Attorney for review and possible charges.”
Even though charges have yet to be filed, attorneys with Corboy and Demetrio, the firm representing the family, said they “filed the suit to gain court protection of evidence, including the minivan that police had returned to its owner after the incident.” The protective order was granted by Cook County Circuit Court Judge James O’Hara, which required “the 2008 Honda Odyssey minivan be preserved in its current condition.” Additionally, the attorneys are now allowed to issue “subpoenas to a wrecking company for all relevant documents and other materials.”
When commenting on the lawsuit, attorney Thomas Demetrio said:
“The family is anxiously awaiting to see what criminal charges will be brought against the driver who failed to see a pedestrian who was clearly smack dab in front of him in an open parking lot. The family understandably wants to see our criminal system work and learn why in the world this driver fled the scene.”