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Chicago Streets Worker Faces DUI Charges For Gold Coast Crash

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Dwight Washington. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

Dwight Washington. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

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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

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