West Chicago man charged in hit-and-run crash involving Geneva police officer
A West Chicago man faces felony charges after he struck a Geneva police officer with his minivan in a hit-and-run crash early Tuesday, authorities said.
The 22-year-old officer had observed an unrelated traffic violation on the 1900 block of Kirk Road in Geneva and pulled the vehicle over just south of Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, according to a joint news release from the two police departments. His squad car lights were activated.
As the officer stood outside the driver's window about 5 a.m., he was hit on the elbow by an oncoming 2011 Volkswagen minivan, causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground, officials said.
The minivan, driven by 53-year-old Bartolo Martinez-Lopez, initially slowed down after the crash but continued south, authorities said.
The officer was able to pick up his radio and call in the hit-and-run. He was taken to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital and has since been released.
Police found the minivan parked at a business on the 700 block of North Kirk Road in Batavia, officials said.
Martinez-Lopez, of the 1600 block of Windsor Lane in West Chicago, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury and passing an emergency vehicle causing personal injury, both felonies.
He also is charged with various misdemeanor and petty offenses, including failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, failure to yield one full lane upon approaching an emergency vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid in a traffic accident, driving with a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle.
Batavia police are investigating the crash, with Geneva police assisting as they remain "focused on the officer's welfare," according to the joint news release.
Both departments are encouraging drivers to follow Scott's Law, which requires vehicles to proceed with caution, change lanes if possible and slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway.