Family files wrongful death suit after Forest Park hit-and-run

SHARE Family files wrongful death suit after Forest Park hit-and-run
SHARE Family files wrongful death suit after Forest Park hit-and-run

The father of a 40-year-old man who was fatally struck by a vehicle last June while riding a bicycle in west suburban Forest Park is suing the driver, who has been charged with leaving the scene of the crash and failing to notify authorities.

Ronald Schultz filed the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court in connection with the June 1, 2014, death of his son, Jeffrey Schultz.

About 10:32 p.m., Forest Park police responded to reports of an accident in the 1400 block of Harlem Avenue, and found a man unresponsive on the road, according to a police statement.

The vehicle left the scene after striking the bike, but was found unoccupied in Berwyn a short time later, police said.

Jeffrey Schultz, 40, of the 300 block of Harrison Street in Oak Park, was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:43 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Police said Schultz lived in Forest Park.

He died of multiple injuries from the crash and his death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.

Joel Mendoza, 22, of Berwyn, has been charged with a felony count of failure to report an accident, authorities said. Mendoza was also cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident.

Court records show Mendoza was ordered held on a $125,000 bond and was released after he posted bail. He is next scheduled to appear at the Maywood courthouse Friday.

According to the lawsuit, Mendoza carelessly and negligently drove too fast for conditions; did not keep a proper lookout; and, among other things, intentionally fled the scene of an accident knowing that he had cause bodily injury or death to Jeffrey Schultz.

Mendoza and two owners of the vehicle are named as defendants in the suit. Ronald Shultz is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

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