Mother-in-law sues man who fatally struck wife with van in Chinatown

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A man’s mother-in-law is suing him for fatally striking his wife with a van in March in the Chinatown neighborhood.

The four-count lawsuit was filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court by Baoyu Chen and seeks $200,000 in damages from her son-in-law and his employer.

Wen Juan Wang, 45, was struck March 11 by a 2005 Ford Van in the 1900 block of Tan Court, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she died of her injuries.

Wang’s husband took his foot off the van’s brake pedal as he reached to unlock the passenger door of the van for her when he was picking her up near their home, according to the suit. Wang was walking in front of the vehicle when the brake was released.

Chen seeks $100,000 in damages from her son-in-law, and accuses him of negligence for failing to use the van’s parking brake and for not putting the van in park, according to the suit.

The driver of the van, a 48-year-old man, was cited with failing to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the roadway, failure to reduce speed and operating a vehicle without insurance, police said.

The van was owned by Wang’s husband’s employer, First Mart, 817 W. 21st St., according to the suit. Chen seeks $100,000 from the business because it failed to properly train him how to operate the van.

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