A taxi driver who fatally struck a man sitting at a bus stop in the River West neighborhood last month was charged today with reckless homicide.
John A. Kesse, 60, of the 4500 block of North Claredon Avenue, was taken into custody this morning at a Traffic Court hearing, police said.
Kesse's cab hit several light poles before striking a 30-year-old man who was sitting on a bench at a bus stop at Milwaukee and Chicago avenues shortly after 6 a.m. on Aug. 14, police said.
Eric Kerestes, who lived in the 600 block of North Racine Avenue, just blocks from the bus stop, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was thrown at least 15 feet by the impact, officials said.
Kerestes was a student in the Evening MBA Program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His wife, Tatijana Stafets-Kerestes, is also a student of U of C. The couple married two years ago in Portugal.
Witnesses said they pulled Kesse out of his Checker cab as it started to catch fire. A passenger also escaped.
Kesse has been a licensed Chicago public chauffeur since May 1987, according to the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Until the accident, his current city record showed no outstanding safety issues related to moving violations or consumer complaints, according to the department.
But from about 1988 through 2009, Cook County Circuit Court records show Kesse accrued more than 30 traffic tickets for various violations, including speeding and ignoring stop signs. Most of the tickets happened in a taxi, and most were thrown out. His last Cook County moving violation tickets, however, were issued nearly 10 years ago, according to records.
Kesse is scheduled to appear in Central Bond Court Tuesday afternoon, police said.
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