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No Charges Expected Following Death of Downers Grove Teen

No criminal charges will be filed in the death of 15-year-old Hunter Himes, who died Sunday from brain injuries sustained when his bicycle was hit by a car in Darien.

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 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 rode 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.

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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 

Related stories:

  • 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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Nancy January 17, 2013 at 05:45 PM
If that were my child, I'd be devastated. But, was the driver malicious...careless...distracted....what? He will have to live with what happened for the rest of his life. It seems 300 hours of community service is a joke, but what would be appropriate? I remember a bicyclist fell over on his bike right in front of my dad's moving car. Fortunately, my dad stopped but that was a miracle. He had no way to know this person's bike would tip over. These are such difficult things. I don't think anything would help the suffering of the family who lost their son.
heidi swatscheno January 18, 2013 at 01:51 PM
i can not believe our court system. My 20 year old on sunday looked at me and said they better charge him with something more now - and i read this! why in the world is he not being charged???????? Maybe i would have a little tiny compassion for the man if he was a man and said it was an accident - i am sorry - if he tried to do something to help - but in 11 months he pulled a george ryan - he never took responsibility for HIS actions. the person handling this case - really needs to stop and think - what if Hunter was his son. ugh this makes me very very sad and very angry at our justice system
babygirl February 10, 2013 at 04:56 AM
It was a bad accident the driver was at a complete stop. I know him personally and hes deeply sorry for what happened. He was not drunk or distracted. Just wrong place wrong time.
Dgs alum March 15, 2013 at 02:39 PM
well, you can get in more trouble for cannabis than killing someone, that is comforting Way to go!!!
Jay Walker March 30, 2013 at 05:39 PM
It's easy to blame the driver when the victim dies. But fault is determined by failure to obey traffic rules.

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