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Judge orders evidence protected in Evanston UPS crash that left woman in coma

A Cook County judge has granted an emergency order of protection of evidence in a lawsuit filed over a crash that left a woman trapped underneath a UPS truck for 30 minutes last month in north suburban Evanston.

Erin Hinner, 30, was crossing Ashland Avenue on Dec. 22, 2014, when she was hit by the UPS truck, according to a lawsuit filed Jan. 15 in Cook County Circuit Court.

Judge James N. O’Hara granted an emergency order of protection requiring UPS to preserve and protect evidence from the crash, including cell phone records of the truck’s driver and data recording devices for the truck and its driver for the 24 hours leading up to the crash.

Evanston police said at the time the woman was walking across Ashland Avenue at the Central Street crosswalk about 5 p.m. when a UPS truck, turning south onto Ashland, hit her.

The truck then rolled over her, pinning her body under its axle, where she was trapped for 30 minutes, the suit claims.

“The order will give us access to what could be key information in finding out how and why a driver would knock down and drive over a pedestrian who was in a cross walk at five o’clock in the evening,” Hinner’s attorney, Michael Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio, said in a statement.

Police said at the time she was extricated from under the truck by personnel from the Evanston Fire Department, then taken to Evanston-Northshore University Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The UPS driver told police he wasn’t even aware he’d run over Hinner until he “heard her screaming under the truck,” according to a statement from Demetrio.

Hinner, a new mother, was placed in a drug-induced coma to save her life, the attorney’s statement said.

“Erin suffered life-threatening injuries as a result of the severe crushing her body suffered under the full weight of the UPS truck,” Demetrio said. “In addition, she missed her son’s first Christmas and other milestones mothers dream about experiencing with their children.”

The lawsuit names UPS and the driver, Gabriel Garcia, as defendants, and claims Garcia was negligent for failing to stop and yield to a pedestrian within the right-of-way.

The one-count suit seeks an unspecified amount of damages and a jury trial.

UPS has not commented on the lawsuit.