Police Make An Arrest In 18-Month-Old Deadly Hit And Run

Lisa Fielding
August 22, 2019 - 12:56 pm
Carrifthian Lester

Illinois State Police

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- For the last 18 months, Jim Brodnicki has been working to help police find the driver of a semi truck that side swiped his step son's car and drove off.

"In that initial investigation, police determined that the truck driver applied his breaks, but kept on going," Brodnicki said.

Aaron Scofield's car was disabled in in the center lane. When he got out the car, he was hit and killed by another motorist.

Related: New Theory In Deadly I-80 Accident, Police Look For Hit-And-Run Trucker

"Presumably, the driver knew he hit the car and kept on going. Had he followed Department of Transportation regulations and stopped, put his flashers on, put his flares out, the other car would've seen the accident scene and would've been able to avoid it and most likely Aaron wouldn't be dead and we wouldn't be having this conversation," he said.

Illinois State Police announced Wednesday the arrested of 38-year-old Carrifthian Lester of Calumet City. He is charged with two felony counts of failure to report a crash and failure to stop after a crash.

"We didn't know there had been an arrest, but when I learned of it, it was a relief. But this is one chapter of what's going to unfold here, because there will be a trial and everything else and hopefully the justice system will prevail and he'll be accountable for this," Brodnicki said.

Photo provided to WBBM Newsradio

Brodnicki said he's now working with the state on putting cameras in construction zones along the I-80 corridor.

"The problem is that there are cameras on I-80, but a few years ago, the state started having budget issues. Up until then, these cameras were taking live video and being stored, but it got a little bit costly, so they stopped doing videos and storing things. Now the cameras function, but they are still photo, a new photo is taken every four to six seconds, but once the second photo is taken, the first one is deleted," he said. "If they would've had active cameras, active video near Aaron's accident, it would've been helpful to the State Police. They could've pulled up the video and seen the truck."

In the aftermath of the deadly crash, Brodnicki and his family did several interviews with Chicago radio and TV stations to draw widespread attention to their son's unsolved case. He believes keeping his son's case in the public eye helped lead to the arrest.

Photo provided to WBBM Newsradio

"Everybody just stepped up and made this happen," he said fighting back tears.

Brodnicki said an anonymous tip led police to Lester, who's now being held in the Will county Jail under $150,000 bond.

"I don't think there was another person in the truck. Somewhere along the line, he must've told somebody and that person had a better conscious than he did," he said.