An 85-year-old Wilmette man has been charged with a misdemeanor and three traffic offenses after he struck a 25-year-old man while driving, police reported.
Louis Kolpas, of the 2700 block of Lincoln Lane, Wilmette, allegedly struck the man while driving his car through the intersection of Lake Avenue and North Hibbard Road at 11:19 a.m. on Nov. 9.
Police responders reported finding the victim, who is also reportedly a Wilmette resident, lying on his back in the curb lane, screaming and disoriented. The man told police he did not know what happened and said he felt pain in his legs.
Three witnesses provided similar accounts of a white vehicle traveling northbound on Hibbard Road, striking the pedestrian and sending the man flying into the air, police reported. Witnesses said the vehicle then paused for a moment, took off eastbound on Lake Avenue and turned right on Leyden Lane.
One witness provided officers with cell phone pictures of the offending vehicle, police reported. Further analysis of the photos lead police to determine the offender had been driving a white, four-door Oldsmobile Eighty Eight model with a four-digit license plate.
Officers proceeded to search the police database for any Oldsmobile the department had stopped in the past. Police reported locating one Oldsmobile with a four-digit license plate registered to a Wilmette resident, and officers drove to the registration address at 12:35 p.m.
When officers arrived at the residence, Kolpas answered the door, showed police his car and said he had recently been out driving. Officers reported finding “several areas of fresh damage… including two areas on the hood, a dent on the top passenger side… as well as scratches to the paint near this dent.”
Kolpas was placed under arrest and the vehicle was towed to the Wilmette Police Department.
Once at the station Kolpas initially told police he thought he had “hit some garbage in the roadway” but “got scared after he hit the garbage and continued home”, police reported.
However, when police said when they told him his statement was inconsistent, Kolpas admitted that he realized he hit a person after the victim hit his car's windshield, but said he “panicked”, “got scared” and returned home. Kolpas told police he felt “terrible”.
Kolpas has been charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk, failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision, failure to render aid or provided information, and failure to report an accident to the police.
The Wilmette police report stated the victim’s mother told officers that doctors at Evanston Hospital had discovered small amounts of blood in her son’s brain shortly after the accident. No further information was available about the victim’s current condition.
Kolpas is scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court in Skokie on Nov. 27 at 9 a.m.