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Woman Paralyzed In Crash, Two Others Sue Driver Who Fled

CHICAGO (STMW) -- Three of the four people injured in a River West traffic crash last month filed a lawsuit Wednesday against a Naperville man who was allegdly intoxicated when he crashed the car, causing one of the passengers to become paralyzed from the waist down.

On the night of the Sept. 13 crash, Philip Cho was working as a promoter for Pure Sole Entertainment, according to a lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court. Cho, 28, drank alcoholic beverages at The Mid, 306 N. Halsted and Hubbard House Inn, 110 W. Hubbard, the suit claims. Both venues are listed in the lawsuit.

At some point, Kelsey Ibach and three others got into Cho's 2008 BMW 535i, according to the suit and police. Cho would later lose control of the vehicle, which "violently" struck a utility pole and rolled over in the 700 block of West Erie, police and the suit said.

Cho allegedly fled the scene, leaving the other occupants behind.

As a result of the crash, Ibach, 30, became paralyzed from the waist down, according to the police report.

Ibach's close friend, Melanie Collier, is trying to raise $50,000 for her medical bills through Go Fund Me. Ibach studied journalism at the University of Michigan and met Collier when she was 18, Collier said.

So far, nearly $35,000 has been raised through the website.

One occupant, Brittney Zingsheim, had a thumb severed as a result of the crash while another passenger, Bradley Schaum, suffered lacerations to the back of his head, the report said. Both are listed in the lawsuit as plaintiffs.

Philip Cho
Philip Cho (Credit: Chicago Police)

Cho, of the 900 block of Amberwood Circle in Naperville, turned himself on Sept. 20 at the Central District police station. He was charged with one felony count of failure to report an accident with injuries, one count each of misdemeanor failure to notify damage of an unattended vehicle and failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident, the report said.

The 12-count suit is seeking more than $600,000 and is suing The Mid and Hubbard House Inn under the Dram Shop Act. It is also suing Cho and his employer, Pure Sole Entertainment, for negligence.

Calls made to The Mid, Pure Sole Entertainment and Hubbard House Inn were not immediately returned Wednesday evening.

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