No criminal charges will be filed in the death of Downers Grove teen Hunter Himes, who was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Darien in February 2012.
Hunter, then 14, was riding his bike along Lemont Road in Darien when he was hit by an SUV making a right turn from Beller Drive. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, one that left him in a persistent vegetative state until he died Sunday morning in his home.
The driver in the crash, Timothy J. Hagan of Darien, was found guilty in November of failing to yield to a pedestrian, despite his claim that Hunter road his bike into the crosswalk after he started moving.
Hagan was given the maximum sentence of 300 hours of community service, and issued a $1,500 fine.
Following Hunter's death, the DuPage County State's Attorney will not be seeking additional criminal charges, according to spokesman Paul Darrah.
Currently, there are no statutes in Illinois on negligent vehicular homicide.
In 2009, a bill was introduced that would have created a felony negligent vehicular homicide charge for individuals whose negligent actions behind the wheel caused the death of another person. The bill never made it out of the House.
After Hagan's bench trial in November, Hunter's mom, Terra Ihde, said she was unsure whether the family would sue. Hunter's extensive medical bills now total more than $1.2 million.
The Ihdes said they will continue to work for increased penalties for distracted driving. The consequences of hitting everyday pedestrians like Hunter are relatively weak, they said, considering that hitting a worker in a construction zone carries a fine of $10,000 and up to 14 years in prison.
"My son's life is worth more than community service," Terra Ihde said.
Hunter, who would have been a freshman at Downers Grove South this year, was laid to rest Wednesday following visition and funeral services in Darien.
Hunter's father, Mark Ihde posted the following message to the Facebook group "Hope for Hunter" on Sunday:
"I'd like to thank each and every one of you that stood by our sides through this tragedy. Your kind words, your generosity, your prayers, your actions, your new found love for anything this may have drawn you closer to. Hunter was such a great boy and we struggle to find answers to why this happened. Know that he loves you all. Know that we love and appreciate you all. Thanks so much and God Bless you."
For more on Hunter's life, read
- Family of Injured Downers Grove Boy Petitions Governor for Stiffer Distracted Driving Penalties
- Mom of Injured Boy Urges Vigilance Behind the Wheel
- Hunter’s Hope: Ways You Can Support Injured Boy’s Recovery
- Community Unites in Hope for Lakeview Student Struck by Car
- Hundreds Attend Vigil For Boy Hit By Car in Weekend Accident
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—This story was written by Downers Grove Patch editor Amanda Luevano