According to the SunTimes, a local law enforcement officer has been arrested for charges relating to an ongoing DUI investigation which involves the death of a young boy. This just reminds us that even those that may know the law, and have a better understanding of the role alcohol plays in driving characteristics, can still fall victim to a DUI related accident.
Stephanie Greenlee was sitting in her car talking to a friend outside the South Side nightclub they had just exited when a speeding black Dodge Charger driven by an off-duty Chicago Police officer allegedly struck and killed a teenage bicyclist. The “muscle car” was barreling down southbound on Ashland so “incredibly fast,” Greenlee, 42, said Tuesday, “I felt my car shake.” Greenlee, terrified over the sight of 13-year-old Trenton Booker’s body thrown in the air in a “propeller”-like motion, immediately called 911. Other witnesses said they did the same, rushing to help the bloodied Trenton, who landed behind a parked SUV at the gas station where he filled his bicycle’s flat tire with air minutes before. Some passersby performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and went to a nearby fire station for help. One distraught woman testified that she took her shoes off and ran down the street to see what happened. But Richard Bolling, 42, sped off and “didn’t even do so much as hit his brakes” after striking Trenton at the intersection of Ashland and 81st, Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Ashley Romito said at the opening of Bolling’s trial. Defense attorney Thomas Needham conceded that Bolling should have stopped but did not because he was in shock from hitting Trenton, who was pedaling northbound with his friend in the southbound lanes of Ashland in the early morning hours of May 22, 2009. Bolling has been charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI and leaving the scene of an accident. The married father of two had a mixed drink, a beer and a few sips of another bottle the bartender had given him as he left a South Side tavern before the fatal wreck; however, he was not drunk and passed all field sobriety tests, Needham said. Bolling cooperated with his colleagues’ instructions upon his arrest (a few blocks from the scene) and never asked for “special favors,” Needham said, adding that his client was feeling “complete horror, fear and grief” when fellow officers told him Trenton died. Prosecutors painted a different picture. Before he heard about the fatality, all an emotionless Bolling cared about was the extensive damage to his vehicle and when he could savor the White Castle meal sitting inside, Romito said. Bolling did not undergo field sobriety tests until two hours after the accident, and he was not given a Breathalyzer test until an Internal Affairs officer came on the scene 4œ hours later, Romito said. Bolling’s blood alcohol level registered at .079 percent — just shy of the .08 legal intoxication level. Had he been given the test sooner, his blood alcohol level would have been higher, Romito argued. Michael Smith was riding his bicycle with Trenton when Bolling’s car came at them on that morning at 1:30 a.m. The impact of the accident was like “glass hitting the floor,” Smith said matter-of-factly. “I see Trenton in the air. [The bicycle] was in the air too.” Trenton’s mother, Barbara Norman, said that she was out of her house at the time of the accident and had no idea that her son had snuck out. Trenton’s body had been moved from the pavement when she came to the wreck. Norman later saw his badly injured body at Holy Cross Hospital, she said, crying as she covered her face with her hands.
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