Illinois Firefighter Struck in Hit-And-Run Says Driver Lectured Him Before Driving Away

CHICAGO (AP) -- A Chicago firefighter who was struck by a car while on the job said the driver stopped and told him to ``get out of the way'' before driving off.

Richard L. Atkins, 54, was working traffic control at the scene of an accident Tuesday afternoon when a Lincoln Town Car going 20 mph hit him, throwing the 26-year-veteran onto the windshield and over the roof of the car.

The driver of the car, Neil Langston, 70, of Chicago, stopped and got out of the car, Chicago Police Department spokesman Hector Alfaro said.

After Atkins got to his feet, he said he asked Langston: ``Did you see me there?''

``You were supposed to get out of the way,'' Langston said, according to Atkins.

Reached at home Wednesday, Langston declined to comment.

Langston got back in the car and continued driving, but was stopped shortly afterward by police, Alfaro said.

Atkins received minor scrapes, bumps and bruises. He was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment.

``Everything's going to be sore tomorrow,'' Atkins said. ``But I'm a strong boy.''

Langston was charged with hitting an emergency worker under Scott's Law, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without insurance and a city sticker, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

Scott's Law, named for Lt. Scott Gillen, a Chicago firefighter killed in December 2000, increases penalties for motorists who fail to yield to emergency vehicles at an accident scene.

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