BATAVIA – A Geneva Police officer was struck by a minivan in a hit-and-run crash shortly after 5 a.m. May 5 on Kirk Road south of Fabyan Parkway in Batavia, while he was conducting a traffic stop, police announced in a news release.
The 22-year-old officer was evaluated for injuries at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva and released.
Bartolo Martinez-Lopez, 53, of the 1600 block of Windsor Lane, 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.
Martinez-Lopez was also charged with 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 involving vehicle damage, failure to render aid in a traffic accident, driving with license suspended and operating an uninsured motor vehicle, all misdemeanors.
The two felony charges are Class 4 felonies, punishable by one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000 if convicted.
Martinez-Lopes is in custody at the Batavia Police Department awaiting bond call, which is expected later this afternoon.
The incident occurred after the Geneva officer saw a traffic violation involving a car in the 1900 block of Kirk Road in Geneva, and activated his lights, the release stated.
The vehicle, which was southbound, pulled over in Batavia’s city limits after passing Fabyan Parkway.
As the officer stood outside the driver’s car window, with his squad car lights activated, he was struck by a white 2011 Volkswagon minivan traveling southbound.
The minivan hit the officer’s left elbow causing him to lose his balance and fall to the ground, the release stated.
The minivan initially slowed down after the crash, but then allegedly continued southbound from the scene.
The officer was able to pick up his radio, which was knocked off from the crash, and called in the hit-and-run incident, the release stated.
Batavia and Geneva police officers located the minivan, which was parked at a business in the 700 block of North Kirk Road in Batavia. Martinez-Lopez was arrested inside the business.
The hit-and-run incident is being investigated by Batavia police while Geneva police are focused on the officer’s welfare and assisting Batavia with the criminal investigation.
Both the Batavia and Geneva police are united in requesting motorists respect the Move Over Law and use caution when approaching emergency vehicles on the side of the road, no matter the time of day.
The Move Over Law, also known as “Scott’s Law,” has been in effect since 2002.
It is named in memory of Lt. Scott Gillen of the Chicago Fire Department, who was struck and killed in 2000 when he was assisting on a crash scene on the Dan Ryan Expressway.
Motorists must remember to change lanes, if they can do so safely, or reduce their speed upon approaching any emergency vehicles.
Violators will receive a mandatory court date, can be fined no less than $100 up to a maximum of $10,000 and have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years if the violation involves injury to another person.