12/12/2012 06:15 pm ET

Dwight Washington DUI Settlement: City Coughs Up $6.25 Million For Wounded Pedestrian

More than a year after a drunken city worker crashed into a busy Chicago sidewalk in an incident that left a man with severe brain damage, the City Council on Wednesday approved a settlement to the tune of $6.25 million.

Richard Chang had to learn to walk and talk again after Dwight Washington, a Chicago Streets and Sanitation worker, mowed him down with a pickup truck in 2011, reports the Sun-Times. Washington had a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash.

Chang and his wife Leeann, who was not as severely injured in the crash, accused the city of failing to properly supervise Washington, according to the Associated Press.

In addition to their injuries -- the couple has spent $572,000 on medical care -- the crash also robbed the now-disabled Chang of his physical independence and his $80,000-a-year job as a computer scientist, according to the Tribune.

Washington lost control of his Ford F-150 pickup truck during the May 2011 crash and plowed into a group of people after his truck jumped the curb near the Gold Coast intersection of Rush, Cedar and State, according to ABC's 2011 report. After the crash, police found an open bottle of brandy stuck beneath the gas pedal. Washington is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence for aggravated driving under the influence.

The City Council has approved a settlement for the Changs, but the city may still be on the hook for more: the Tribune reports three more lawsuits from other victims in the crash are pending. Among those filing suit is 26-year-old nanny Jennifer Anton, who was hit after pushing the stroller of the child she was babysitting out of the truck's path.

After the crash, Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered the Streets and Sanitation department to crack down on supervision and its head called for random drug and alcohol tests for workers.


Too Much To Drink?
Too Much To Drink?