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Chicago Suburb Paying $10M in Hit-and-Run Accident

Chicago Hit and Run

A Chicago suburb has agreed to pay $10 million to settle a lawsuit from a 2019 hit-and-run accident in which the village’s then-manager struck and injured a pedestrian with his municipal vehicle.

On November 8th, the Oak Lawn Village Board approved the settlement, which ended a lawsuit filed in January 2020 on behalf of Mark Berkshire, 51. The agreement still needs to be approved by a judge.

Victor Henderson, Berkshire’s attorney, confirmed the settlement on Friday. 

“He’s not lived independently since the day of the accident,” Henderson said.

According to the Daily Southtown, Henderson said that Berkshire is still in a nursing home, is unable to walk independently, and requires specialized care.

“He’s not lived independently since the day of the accident,” Henderson said.

Oak Lawn does not admit any liability or wrongdoing in the 2019 accident, according to the settlement agreement.

Larry Deetjen, the village’s manager at the time, was driving his village-owned vehicle when he struck Berkshire as he was crossing a street. Berkshire sustained multiple fractures to his body and head. He also had swelling of the brain.

According to police, Deetjen continued driving without stopping after hitting Berkshire.

Deetjen was charged with misdemeanors, including leaving the scene of an accident. At the age of 70, he retired from Oak Lawn in November 2019.


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