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Family of Indian man fatally struck by truck sues for wrongful death

The family of a man from India who was fatally struck by a truck last summer while visiting south suburban Tinley Park has filed a lawsuit against the 23-year-old who allegedly fled the scene after the crash.

Rajendrakumar Shah, who was in the United States for a wedding and to visit family in Tinley Park, died June 6, 2013—his 61st birthday—after being hit by a pickup at 9:13 p.m. while crossing 159th Street at 80th Avenue in Tinley Park, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Shah, who was staying with family in the 16100 block of Kensington Avenue, died about 10 p.m. that night at Palos Community Hospital, the medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy ruled his death an accident.

Nimisha Shah, who has been appointed administrator of Rajendrakumar Shah’s estate, filed the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court against the man charged in connection with the hit-and-run crash and the woman who owned the truck.

Michael T. Epley, of the 2200 block of Prairie Street in Blue Island, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs, and failure to stop after having an accident involving personal injury or death,according to Tinley Park police. He was also cited for various traffic offenses.

Epley was ordered held on a $250,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear at the Bridgeview courthouse April 17, court records show.

The suit alleges Epley was driving a Ford F-150 at the time of the crash and was negligent when the truck struck Rajendrakumar Shah.

Epley failed to keep a proper lookout for a pedestrian; operated his vehicle at an excessive rate of speed; failed to sound his horn before the crash; and, among other things, failed to render aid to the injured party, according to the suit.

Rajendrakumar Shah is survived by his wife and three children, the suit said.

The two-count suit seeks an undisclosed amount in damages.