Woman hit in Gold Coast accident recounts experience
Nanny Jen Anton, 25, speaks publicly today, for the first time since being severely injured May 21. Anton pushed her ward, 20-month-old Tyler Jones, out of the way as driver Dwight Washington ran down several pedestrians with a City of Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation truck on the sidewalk at Rush and Cedar streets in the Gold Coast. (Michael Tercha,Chicago Tribune / July 19, 2011)
Next thing she knew she was facedown on the sidewalk, Anton said.
"I just remember screaming in pain," Anton said Tuesday at a news conference in her lawyer's office to call attention to a lawsuit against the truck driver and the city of Chicago. "I could just feel that I was broken."
Anton's pelvis and legs were shattered in the crash. The 25-year-old nanny had been out for a walk with a child under her care on May 21 when a Chicago Streets and Sanitation truck ran into her. She was able to push the stroller out of the way before she was hit, and the toddler's father later hailed her as a hero.
The truck driver, Dwight Washington, a laborer for the city, was found to have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.183 percent, more than twice the legal limit to drive, police said. The midday crash at Cedar and Rush streets in the Gold Coast neighborhood left six other pedestrians injured.
Washington was charged with felony drunken driving causing bodily harm and ticketed for transporting and carrying alcohol, failing to reduce speed and negligent driving.
Anton and the child she was caring for are plaintiffs in separate civil suits against both the city and Washington. The suits claim that Washington's supervisors "knew or should have known" he was driving drunk.
Anton, who has braces on both her legs, said she has undergone 11 surgeries. She said that she still has no feeling in her right foot and is not expected to walk again until sometime next year.
Her mother, Kathy Anton, said at the news conference that she has been forced to take a leave from her job in Kansas City, Mo., to care for her daughter.
Jennifer Anton said one of the bright spots in her recovery was seeing the little girl she had been caring for, Tyler Jones, whom she had known since Jones' birth.
"I do remember when I was first waking up that my first thoughts were, 'Is she OK?'" Anton said. "So it was really good to see her, you know, she hadn't forgotten me."
Tyler Jones was bruised in the incident, said attorney Daniel Kotin of Corboy & Demetrio, which represents both Tyler Jones and Anton.