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City Worker Pleads Guilty To Drunk Driving Charges After Accident In Gold Coast

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Dwight Washington. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

Dwight Washington. (Credit: Chicago Police Department)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago worker who rammed his pickup into a crowd at a Gold Coast intersection in May 2011 pleaded guilty to drunken-driving charges on Friday.

Sentencing for Dwight Washington, who worked for Chicago’s Streets and Sanitation Department, will be next week.

He pleaded guilty to four counts of felony aggravated DUI, CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley reports.

The accident injured seven people, and it could have been worse, but for the actions of a Chicago nanny.

Jennifer Anton, a nanny, was crossing the street with a baby in a stroller at the time of the crash in March 2010. She pushed the baby out of danger, but absorbed a brutal blow that changed her life.

She has suffered through 12 surgeries to repair a broken hip and crushed pelvis and soft-tissue injuries.  Friday’s court action provided some measure of relief.

“I’m just happy that he did plead guilty, and it doesn’t have to go to trial and that basically he admitted wrongdoing,” she said.

Washington declined to speak in court. His defense attorney said he was sorry.

His guilty plea won’t help a civil suit against the city filed by Anton and four other victims. The city’s already admitted responsibility.

“There’s no contest on who caused this. We know he did. It’s just a matter of dollars,” Dan Kotin, Anton’s civil attorney, said.

Police said they found half a bottle of brandy in the truck Washington was driving. 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.

Washington’s attorney says he wasn’t supposed to work the day of the accident but he unexpectedly got called in. That’s why he’d been drinking.

He was almost laid off 12 years ago, and feared if he didn’t report for overtime work, he’d be fired.

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