Elk Grove mayor's son cited after hitting three vehicles

Published: 6/19/2010 4:29 PM | Updated: 6/19/2010 8:36 PM

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson's son received two traffic citations Friday after leaving the scene of an accident when his pickup truck struck three parked vehicles early in the morning, police said.

Craig Johnson Jr., 22, was exiting a parking lot in the 900 block of Ridge Square in Elk Grove Village when his pickup apparently went over a curb and then collided with the unoccupied vehicles.

Police did not give Johnson Jr. a Breathalyzer test because it appeared drinking was not involved, authorities said. "There was no evidence of any alcohol," Police Chief Stephen Schmidt said Saturday.

Mayor Craig Johnson said his son did not receive any preferential treatment and had "made a mistake."

"We're disappointed it happened," Johnson said. "Hopefully it will be a life lesson. We're very thankful no one was hurt seriously."

Craig Johnson Jr. was shaken up and dazed, and suffered slight injuries, the mayor said.

Johnson Jr. and his girlfriend had spent time at his family home that night, the mayor said. He dropped her off around 2:30 a.m. and was turning a corner in the lot when the accident happened.

Johnson Jr. had experienced problems with the brakes on his Chevrolet Colorado, which might have been a factor in the crash, his father said, adding his son intended to bring it in for service this week.

After the collision, Johnson Jr. spoke to some witnesses and intended to call police when he realized he didn't have his cell phone and returned home, the mayor said.

"I don't condone the fact he did not stick around," Johnson Sr. said.

Having received a call from someone else about the accident, police traced the license plate which had come off the pickup truck on impact and showed up at the Johnson home shortly after. Johnson Jr. was taken to the police station and questioned. His father waited there but was not present for the interview, Schmidt said.

Johnson Jr. received village traffic citations for leaving the scene of an accident with vehicle damage and failure to give information after striking a parked vehicle. He posted $75 and faces a future court date.

Asked whether Johnson Jr. should have been given a sobriety test, Schmidt said he was treated like any other motorist.

"We don't ... do sobriety tests unless there's evidence there," he said. "There were no aggravating factors. There might have been some issues with his vehicle and the brakes - if that was the case he shouldn't have been driving." Johnson Jr. did not deny the accident happened, Schmidt noted.

Schmidt said police often see cases where younger drivers panic and leave the scene of an accident and are charged under the local ordinance. "It's just a human reaction," he said.

Additional details of the accident report were not available Saturday.