Chicago police Detective Joseph Frugoli plead guilty in mid-September to aggravated DUI charges that lead to the 2009 deaths of two Chicago-area university students, according to the Chicago Tribune
. "Frugoli, who had been helped out of his own car by a good Samaritan after the collision, knew he had just slammed his SUV into a car with people inside, a Cook County judge ruled," reported the Tribune
, "convicting the veteran cop of two counts of leaving the scene of a fatal crash."
Presumably in an effort to avoid a longer prison sentence, Frugoli's lawyer
argued that he did not flee the scene, but that he was disoriented and injured in the crash, resulting in him leaving without intention of doing so. The judge acquitted
Frugoli "on two more serious counts of leaving the scene of a fatal crash."
Utah, Montana, and Kentucky are the only states that don't consider it a felony to leave the scene of a fatal accident. In Illinois, according to DeadlyRoads.com
, "the driver of any vehicle involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in personal injury to or death of any person shall immediately stop such vehicle at the scene of the accident." According to Illinois
state law, any person failing to comply with this law, is guilty of a Class 3 felony if no one died. The person is guilty of a Class 2 felony "when the accident results in the death of any person," and the person, "if sentenced to a term of imprisonment, shall be sentenced to a term of not less than 3 years and not more than 14 years."
According to NPR News
, in 2010, traffic accidents were the leading cause of death of police officers by far. There are no official statistics for how many police officers were responsible for a civilian death on the road.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a fatal car accident and are facing charges similar to Frugoli's, don't go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago-area personal injury lawyer
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