DUNNING — A physical education teacher at a Chicago elementary school has been charged with drunken driving in connection with a hit-and-run crash that injured two sisters walking to school, police said.
Matthew Lucchini, 26, of Naperville, is charged with drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and negligent driving, police said.
Lucchini is a third-year physical education teacher at Locke Elementary School in Montclare, according to the school's website and a Chicago Public Schools spokesman.
"CPS takes allegations of unlawful activity by its employees very seriously," said Michael Passman, a spokesman for the school district. "Due to the ongoing investigation, we cannot comment at this time."
A 7-year-old girl and a 14-year-old girl were crossing the street in the 3400 block of Austin Avenue near Newport Avenue when the crash occurred at 7:59 a.m. Tuesday, just outside the Chicago Academy charter school, which includes both a high school and elementary school on its campus, police said.
There are no traffic signals or stop signs at the intersection, police said.
The driver involved in the crash fled the scene of the accident, but was apprehended a short distance away, police said.
Both girls were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, police said. The younger girl, who was seriously injured, received several stitches in her chin. The older girl suffered minor injuries to her ankle.
Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) said he asked the Chicago Department of Transportation to expedite a traffic study of the intersection where the girls were injured in light of the accident, which he said was every parent's worst nightmare.
Villegas said he first requested the traffic study — which could lead to a traffic signal or stop sign being installed — three months ago after getting a number of complaints from nearby residents.
In addition, Villegas said he asked the Chicago Police Department to assign a crossing guard to the intersection.
In the meantime, Villegas said his office had recruited neighborhood residents to serve as volunteer crossing guards to help students get to and from school.
The girls, who are sisters, are recovering at home, according to WGN-TV.
Lucchini is scheduled to appear in traffic court March 2.
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