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Mother picking up daughter’s birthday cake fatally struck by hit-and-run driver in Deerfield, lawsuit alleges

Police investigate after 53-year-old Lucinda Rondon-Stanley was fatally struck by a hit-and-run vehicle in the parking lot of 825 Waukegan Road in Deerfield Friday morning | Photo: Craig Uglinica.

A mother, who was picking up a birthday cake for her daughter’s 21st birthday, was killed last week after being ran over and dragged underneath a car driven by a local business owner, who fled the scene in Deerfield, a lawsuit alleges.

Lucinda Rondon-Stanley, 53, of Evanston, died of blunt force injuries caused by a vehicle, Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said Monday afternoon.

The Deerfield Police Department and Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Department responded around 11:37 a.m. September 13 to a parking lot at 825 Waukegan Road for a report of a person struck by a vehicle.

The Deerfield Police Department said that officers arrived and found Rondon-Stanley lying in the parking lot, which is near the Deerfield Bakery. Police performed rescue efforts on the woman before paramedics arrived and transported the woman to Highland Park Hospital.

Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper said that Rondon-Stanley died at the hospital a short time later. Police said the minivan that struck the woman fled the scene and was later located near Deerfield High School.

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed on Wednesday by Chicago based law firm Corboy and Demetrio in Cook County Circuit Court. The owner of Deerfield Music, Inc., 67-year-old Lawrence Biernacki, was named as a defendant in the lawsuit along with his company.

“The family is anxiously awaiting to see what criminal charges will be brought against this driver who failed to see a pedestrian who was clearly smack-dab in front of him in an open parking lot. The family understandably wants to see our criminal system work and learn why in the world this driver fled the scene,” said Attorney Thomas Demetrio.

Rondon-Stanley, who left behind a husband and two daughters, was walking in the parking lot next to the bakery with a birthday cake for her daughter’s 21st birthday when she was hit by the man, whose business, Music Center of Deerfield, is adjacent to the bakery.

The lawsuit alleges that the driver failed to keep a safe and proper lookout for pedestrians, failed to avoid striking the woman and failed to stop his vehicle after striking her, causing her to be dragged underneath it. Witnesses said that they heard her calling for help after she was struck.

“We filed this lawsuit in order to get court protection for important evidence, including the minivan, which the Deerfield Police has already released back to its owner,” Attorney Andrew P. Stevens said.

Police said that the driver is being cooperative with the investigation. The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will review possible charges once the investigation is complete but no charges have been filed yet.

A Cook County Circuit Court judge granted Corboy & Demetrio’s motion for a protective order on Thursday and ordered that the 2008 Honda Odyssey minivan and all evidence relating to the case be preserved and protected.


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