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CHICAGO (CBS) – A 27-year-old man who says he has to put off going to law school for a year because he was hit by an allegedly drunken city driver on the Gold Coast last month is suing the suspect and city government.
Stephen Dewart was one of eight people mowed down May 21 when a driver for the Department of Streets and Sanitation lost control of his pick-up truck and plowed into them near the corner of Rush and Cedar streets on May 21.
Dewart says he suffered several spinal fractures and a broken tibia and fibula, and was in the hospital for six days and now uses a wheel chair to get around.
Prosecutors say Dwight Washington, 61, had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit — and an open bottle of brandy on the seat next to him when the crash happened.
Also listed as a plaintiff in the suit filed Monday is Dewart’s wife, Sharokina Pazand. Dewart was participating in a wedding photo shoot for his wife’s company when Washington lost control of the city-owned vehicle and struck him and others, a release from his attorneys said.
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The five-count suit seeks more than $250,000 in damages.
Monday’s suit is the third to be filed against Washington and the city in the crash. Richard and Leeann Chang filed a suit June 1. And on May 23, suits were filed on behalf of 20-month-old Tyler Jones and her 25-year-old nanny Jennifer Anton, who was pushing the little girl in a stroller at the time of the crash.
Washington is charged with four counts of felony aggravated DUI and two counts of misdemeanor DUI, police said. He was also cited for transporting open alcohol in a vehicle, failure to reduce speed and negligent driving.
He remains in Cook County Jail on $400,000 bond.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire