Cab driver cited in fatal crash
Eric Kerestes, 30, was struck and killed by a cab that veered off Milwaukee Avenue in the River West neighborhood this morning, hit a light pole and flipped over several times, authorities said. (Family photo)
John Kesse, who has been a licensed public chauffeur since May 1987, was ticketed with negligent driving, driving 30 mph to 40 mph above the speed limit, failure to reduce speed, failure to keep in lane, disobeying a red light, driving on sidewalks and parkways, and damage to public property, according to a Chicago police news affairs officer.
Bystanders said they saw Kesse barrel through the intersection of Chicago and Milwaukee avenues around 6 a.m. Tuesday, strike a light pole and flip several times before smashing into a CVS sign.
Eric Kerestes, who was waiting for a bus on the Near West Side, was hit and killed, according to his family.
Police said Wednesday that the investigation is ongoing, pending a mechanical inspection of the vehicle.
A witness said Tuesday that after helping Kesse out of the vehicle, the cabdriver repeatedly said he tried to press the brakes.
Kesse, 60, has no outstanding safety issues related to moving violations or consumer complaints, according to the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which regulates the city’s taxi industry.
From about 1988 through 2009, Cook County Circuit Court records show that Kesse accrued more than 30 traffic tickets for various violations, including speeding and ignoring stop signs. Most of the tickets happened in a taxi, and most were thrown out.
Kesse’s last Cook County moving violation tickets, however, were issued nearly 10 years ago, according to records.
He currently has a clean driving record, Illinois secretary of state officials said.
Kerestes, who lived just blocks away from where the crash happened, was a student in the evening MBA program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, according to a statement released by the university.
He had been married for two years and was working in IT support at the infrastructure firm Peter Kiewit and Sons, the statement said.
Kerestes was expected to graduate next spring.
“Eric’s name appeared regularly on the dean’s honors list,” said George Andrews, Associate Dean of Evening and Weekend MBA Program at Chicago Booth, in a statement. “He is the best example of what a perfect student would look like -- hardworking, compassionate and dedicated to being the best at everything he did.”