Reporting Lisa Fielding
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CHICAGO (CBS) — Pending full City Council approval, the city will be paying out $3.25 million to the family of a 4-year-old girl who was killed by a hit-and-run driver near the Lincoln Park Zoo back in 2006.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports, Maya Hirsch was struck and killed by a car on May 20, 2006, as she crossed the street with her mother and 6-year-old brother, Ben, at the intersection of Lincoln Park West and Belden Avenue.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding reports
The City Council Finance Committee voted Monday to approve the $3.25 million settlement. The full City Council, which meets Wednesday, must grant final approval.
In the fatal accident, driver Michael Roth, 57, slammed into Maya and her family as he blew a stop sign. Maya was dragged under the car, while her mother and brother were tossed under the hood.
When Roth plowed into the family that sunny Saturday afternoon, many witnesses yelled for him to stop and chased his car. But he sped off.
Police easily traced the Roth’s vanity license plate, “OCEAN 21,” and he but was arrested at his North Side condo and hit with felony charges. He already had multiple traffic tickets, as well as past felony convictions for robbery and aggravated assault.
Roth insisted he did not see the stop sign, and testified he never saw any of the victims, according to published reports.
He was convicted in 2007 and sentenced to eight years behind bars. He died in prison on April 5, 2008.
Maya’s parents, David Hirsch and Danit Steinbach Hirsch, filed a lawsuit, accusing the City of Chicago of failing to maintain the stop sign and other traffic markings at the intersection.
Shortly after the deadly accident, city crews quickly painted bright white lines on the crosswalk across Lincoln Park West and installed new stop signs. The intersection was later reconfigured to better accommodate pedestrians.