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Crime & Courts

Geneva officer hit by vehicle at traffic stop back at work

Motorists reminded to observe 'Move Over Law' for emergency vehicles

Bartolo Martinez-Lopez was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury, a felony.
Bartolo Martinez-Lopez was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury, a felony.

GENEVA – The Geneva police officer who was injured in a hit-and-run crash May 5 did not suffer broken bones or internal injuries and was back to full duty four days later, police officials said.

The 22-year-old officer was struck by a white 2011 Volkswagen minivan shortly after 5 a.m. on Kirk Road south of Fabyan Parkway while conducting a traffic stop.

The officer is not being identified because the Chronicle does not identify crime victims.

Cmdr. Brian Maduzia stated in an email that the officer said he made a traffic stop for a speeding violation, approached the speeding vehicle and began speaking with the driver.

“He didn’t hear or see the other car,” Maduzia’s email stated. “He was struck on the back of his left elbow from behind – the side closest to the street – and the vehicle grazed his Taser holster on his duty belt. That knocked him to the ground. He quickly got his bearings and realized what occurred.”

The minivan looked like it was pulling over, so the officer started running towards it, but it immediately took off from him, the email stated.

“He got on his radio and returned to his squad car. Our medics checked him out and he was able to sign a release on the scene,” Maduzia’s email stated. “Thankfully, the shift supervisor was on the ball and told him that’s not going to cut it. Another officer drove him to (Northwestern Medicine) Delnor (Hospital) for a more thorough medical evaluation, which turned out that he was OK. … Very lucky, it could have been worse.”

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, a felony.

Court records show that Martinez-Lopez was also charged with violating Scott’s Law, a misdemeanor.

Scott’s Law is known as the “Move Over Law.” It requires drivers to slow down or move over if possible, when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with flashing lights.

Scott's Law was named after Chicago Fire Department Lt. Scott Gillen who was struck and killed on Dec. 23, 2000 by an intoxicated driver while assisting at a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway.

Martinez-Lopez was also charged with improper passing of an emergency vehicle, 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.

Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury is a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000 if convicted.

“Motorists must remember to change lanes, if they can do so safely, or reduce their speed upon approaching any emergency vehicles,” Maduzia stated in the email. “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.”

Maduzia also praised Batavia police, who he said “did a fantastic job” handling the criminal investigation, as Martinez-Lopez had continued over the border from Geneva to Batavia.

“They were able to identify and arrest the suspected offender that morning,” Maduzia’s email stated.

Martinez-Lopez was released on his personal recognizance and is scheduled to appear in court June 23 for a status hearing.

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