Wheeling approves $853,000 settlement in 2014 fatal police crash

 
 
Updated 5/2/2016 8:42 PM
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  • Fredi Morales

    Fredi Morales

  • A memorial was set up for 20-year-old Des Plaines resident Fredi Morales on McHenry Road just north of Cedar Run Drive in Wheeling after he was fatally struck by a police SUV in 2014. Wheeling trustees Monday approved an $853,195 settlement with Morales' family.

      A memorial was set up for 20-year-old Des Plaines resident Fredi Morales on McHenry Road just north of Cedar Run Drive in Wheeling after he was fatally struck by a police SUV in 2014. Wheeling trustees Monday approved an $853,195 settlement with Morales' family. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer, 2014

Wheeling trustees Monday approved an $853,195 settlement with the family of Fredi Morales, a 20-year-old Des Plaines man hit and killed by a Wheeling police SUV in 2014.

Morales was struck before dawn on Sept. 14, 2014, on McHenry Road just west of Cedar Run Road. Wheeling police officer Preston Robertson was driving the police SUV that hit Morales at 5:42 a.m.

He told investigators he was trying to catch up to another vehicle to make a traffic stop when he hit Morales, who he said was wearing dark clothes and running north along a dimly lit section of the road.

The investigation showed that Robertson had not yet activated the SUV's siren and flashing lights.

Morales' family filed suit two days after he died, claiming Robertson had acted recklessly and negligently.

The suit also claims intentional infliction of emotional distress, claiming all of Morales' body parts were not removed promptly from the scene.

Robertson is currently still working with the Wheeling Police Department.

The attorney for Morales' family, Erron Fisher of Fisher and LaMonica, could not be reached for comment.

At the time of the crash Robertson had a record free of discipline and full of commendations.

After the crash, he was put on non-patrol duty as the accident was investigated by the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team.

"The settlement is not an admission of liability but the compromise of a claim that both sides were prepared to present at trial," according to the agenda item on the Village of Wheeling's Monday night agenda.

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