CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Family members were disappointed and angry Thursday after an Amazon delivery driver was cleared in the death of the family's matriarch.
The 84-year-old woman was struck and killed as she walked in a crosswalk in the middle of the afternoon in the Little Village neighborhood where she lived.
“She has the right of way. She's a pedestrian. He got away with murder today!” said Joe Saleski.
Saleski is the son-in-law of Telesflora Escamilla, the 84-year-old grandmother hit and killed by Amazon delivery driver Valdimar Gray three days before Christmas in 2016. Prosecutors said Gray rolled through three stop signs before hitting Escamilla while making a left turn. He was charged with reckless homicide, but after a two-day bench trial, Judge Diana Kenworthy questioned the credibility of the state's witnesses and found Gray not guilty.
“But by the negligence of this driver, recklessly, to this day, recklessly killed my mother, justice was not served today,” said the victim’s daughter Gloria Escamilla.
Escamilla had lived in Little Village for 50 years, and had six children and 13 grandchildren.
“No person's life is worth taking because this person decided that these packages were more important to be delivered,” said the victim’s daughter-in-law Joann Escamilla.
Defense Attorney Adam Sheppard argued that this was a tragic accident and there was no evidence that Gray had been driving erratically or at excessive speeds.
“Tragic accident. No criminal activity by Mister Gray. He's a terrific kid. He's a hard working kid. He lost his job because of this accident,” Sheppard said.
The not guilty verdict does not prevent the family from pursuing damages in the civil lawsuit, which they have filed against Amazon and the independent contractor who Gray was driving for.