CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — Lyft and one of its drivers have been sued by the family of an 80-year-old crossing guard, who was left in a coma when she was hit by a car as school was letting out earlier this month.
Janet Gould, a 34-year veteran crossing guard, was wearing a yellow reflective vest and holding a stop sign while escorting students across the street outside Peirce School of International Studies in Edgewater on Jan. 8, according to the lawsuit.
Attorney Francis Patrick Murphy said he believes Lyft driver Mohammadsalim Vhora was distracted when he hit Gould at the intersection of Bryn Mawr and Clark.
“His passenger was paying attention, and did see this unfolding, and wasn’t able to get the driver to stop before he contacted Janet Gould,” Murphy said.
Gould struck her head when she was hit. She was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition. Murphy said she remains in a coma.
No students were injured.
Murphy said the Lyft passenger has cooperated.
“Fortunately, we have the eyewitness recollection of the passenger in the car. We also have her vest and her sign, and that is what is crucial at this time,” he said.
Murphy said there’s no excuse for what happened.
“You have to pay attention to the rules of the road, and the most cardinal rule of the road is that a pedestrian standing in a marked crosswalk has the right of way. That is a person’s safety zone,” he said.
Gould has eight children, 19 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.
Police issued the driver a citation for failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk.