Chicago Streets Worker Faces DUI Charges For Gold Coast Crash

Updated 05/23/11 – 5:49 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago Streets and Sanitation worker appeared in court on Monday, facing charges he was drunk when he drove a city pick-up onto a sidewalk in the Gold Coast neighborhood on Saturday, hitting seven people.

Dwight Washington, 61, is charged with four counts of felony aggravated DUI, another two counts of misdemeanor DUI, transporting open alcohol, failure to reduce speed and negligent driving. Police said they found half a bottle of brandy in the truck.

Prosecutors said the brandy bottle was open at the time of the crash. They also said that Washington’s blood alcohol level was 0.183, more than twice the legal limit. But, they added, Washington had no publishable priors.

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Bond was set at $400,000 at a bond hearing at the Cook County Criminal Courthouse on Monday, where Washington’s next hearing was set for Wednesday. As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, he appeared disoriented as he appeared for his bond hearing on Monday.

Washington allegedly drove onto the sidewalk at the three-way intersection of Rush, Cedar and State and ran into a toddler and six adults. Some were models doing a wedding photo shoot.

Curtis Powell was among them.

“As I was going back I just basically thought, Oh, wow, this is what it feels like to get hit by a truck,” Powell said.

Two of the seven people hit were critically injured.

A 25-year-old nanny who was pushing 20-month-old Tyler Jones in a stroller at the time of the crash suffered multiple severe fractures to her pelvis, hips and legs, and had an extensive amount of skin torn off her legs, a release from her attorneys said. She has undergone surgery and her condition remains serious, according to her attorneys.

The nanny pushed Tyler out of the way of the oncoming truck, Scaduto said.

Tyler’s father Hugh Jones called Washington “evil” as the family and the nanny filed a lawsuit against him and the city of Chicago on Monday.

Hugh Jones called his daughter’s nanny, Jennifer Anton, “an angel on this Earth” for pushing Tyler’s stroller out of the way of the truck Washington was driving.

“I do know that if she didn’t do what she did, my daughter Tyler wouldn’t be alive today.”

Tyler was spared serious injury, but Anton remained in critical condition Monday afternoon.

“She apparently woke up and her first words were ‘I hope they’re not angry with me,’” Hugh Jones said.

Washington’s neighbor, David Collins, said he knows Washington as a good family man.

“I see him every morning getting up, going to work, you know, see him when he come in,” Collins said. “I can’t say nothin’ bad about him.”

Hugh Jones’ attorney, Daniel Kotin, said that seeing Washington arrested for the crash wasn’t enough.

“That should not be allowed to happen, but it did,” Kotin said.

“There are some terrific people in the city. Apparently, there’s one evil one,” Hugh Jones said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report

  • Ex MTD

    This man is a laborer driving a truck,city was negligent by letting him drive ,a pro
    Motor Truck Driver would have never let this happen.

  • Pothead

    Another P.O.S. city worker drunk on the job.

  • Smash Crasher

    He’ll be backed by the corrupt, disgusting Democratic union and get his job back with full benefits. Even if he serves any time at all.

  • john

    Another Chicago Democrat… .

  • Steve

    unannounced drug and alcohol test are needed

  • City is Broke

    The city is broke already and now come more lawsuits. People want a free payday and now the City is coughing up more money for senseless problems. Why is this guy still working as a driver and not a helper at 61? Time to cut the Alderman to 25 – so people like this are not still on the job.

  • Ralph

    it is very foolish to think being Democrat has anything to do with this crash. it just so happens that this man abused his right to operate city property while under the influence!! and he should definitly lose his job as well as serve time for his actions. Point blank.

  • Pothead

    And he should kiss his pension good-bye !

    • Chicago

      I agree… How stupid 61…. I really hope he loses it all…. Now the city will be stuck paying for his stupid actions…. Go ahead alderman, stick up for him & help him out!!

  • Bob Hamilton

    His supervisor should also be fired and his clout should get a lot of media attention.

  • WOZ

    The picture he took says it all!!!! what a hangover!!!!! maybe father flagger can bail him out!!

  • chat422

    if he “flunked” the sobriety test, he should be fired. however, people perhaps he suffers from some unknown medical problems or perhaps he was hiding a medical problem. we don’t know, we were not there, we should wait and see what the court says. in the meantime, all drivers over 60 yrs old should be replaced with young, healthy and professional drivers who are SOBER, thank you!! gee whiz, what is the City of Chicago doing…what are they thinking. this old man should not be driving a truck… pensiion, no re-instatement if he is found GUILTY. however, if he is found NOT Gulity he should be given a very long suspension and MAYBE given a lesser assignment. Too Much Corruption in Chicago…

    • Liz

      the article stated there was open alcohol in the truck – what medical condition is that other than alcoholism?

  • citizen

    This happened on Mayor Rahm’s watch.

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