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Passenger sues Lyft, both drivers after fatal DUI crash near Humboldt Park

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

A passenger who was injured in a fatal, head-on DUI crash between a Lyft car and another vehicle near Humboldt Park earlier this month is suing the rideshare company and both drivers.

Abraham Vucekovich filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on June 14, naming Lyft, Lyft driver Elizabeth Renter and Travis Anderson as defendants.

Vucekovich was a passenger in the Toyota Camry that was operated by Renter as a Lyft Pool vehicle in the June 8 crash, according to the suit.

Chicago Police said 25-year-old Anderson was driving a Toyota Avalon about 3:55 a.m. when he crossed over the center line in the 1600 block of North Humboldt Boulevard and struck the Camry head-on.

The collision killed 23-year-old Anudari Bayaraa, who was a passenger in the Lyft, police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. Bayaraa, of the North Center neighborhood, suffered blunt force head trauma in the crash and was taken to Stroger Hospital, where she died. Her death was ruled an accident.

Vucekovich suffered head injuries and a concussion in the crash, according to a statement from Corboy & Demetrio, the law firm representing him.

Police said he was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition after the crash.

Travis Anderson | Cook County Sheriff’s Office
Travis Anderson | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Anderson, of Tempe, Arizona, was charged with a felony count of aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, police said.

He is being held without bail at the Cook County Jail and his next court date was scheduled for July 9, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Renter, 32, of Lena, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious condition after the crash, police said. She was subsequently charged with a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of a drug.

The two-count suit accuses Lyft, Renter and Anderson of negligence and is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

“When the public hires a ride sharing car, such as Lyft, it has a right to expect that the driver is not impaired for any reason,” Vucekovich’s attorney Francis Patrick Murphy said in the statement. “We expect and demand that we get to our destination safely.”

A Lyft spokeswoman declined to comment about the suit Friday afternoon.

“Immediately upon hearing these allegations, we deactivated the driver,” the company previously said in a statement after Renter was charged. “Lyft has zero tolerance policy for the behavior described.”