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Skokie Ambulance Company Responds To Employee Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Skokie resident and former EMT at MedEx Ambulance in Skokie Kristian Hernandez was charged with a fatal hit and run on Friday. Hernandez had an extensive criminal history, authorities said, and his employer has responded to questions regarding his past.

Skokie based MedEx Ambulance issued a press release on Monday regarding the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed a Park Ridge man in Des Plaines on Nov. 5.

Kristian Hernandez, 36, of the 8200 block of Knox Avenue in Skokie, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident and failure to report an accident resulting in a death, a Class I felony. Patch reported on Nov. 6 that 53-year-old Park Ridge resident Ronald Bougan was found dead about six feet from Touhy Avenue near Axehead Lake, just east of the I-294 expressway in Des Plaines, on Nov. 5.

Hernandez worked as an EMT for Skokie based MedEx Ambulance, and, according to authorities, had an extensive criminal record that included seven arrests. Among those were a violation of an order of protection, domestic battery with bodily harm and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to the Cook County Sherriff's Department.

"The incident occurred on the employee's day off and did not involve any MedEx vehicle," said MedEx Ambulance corporate counsel Frank Nagorka. "MedEx utilizes two nationally recognized firms that report all national, state and county level criminal convictions. Multiple background checks were conducted through two independent firms and the background checks revealed no convictions."

Nagorka added that Illinois law prohibits employers from using arrest records in making employment decisions.

When asked if Hernandez had ever been disciplined by MedEx Ambulance, Nagorka replied, "Due to company policy pertaining to employee confidentiality, MedEx cannot comment on any employee's history or status with the company."

A man riding his bicycle found Bougan in a grassy area and initially, in the dark, thought he was looking at a deer or other animal, authorities said. 

"As a private ambulance provider we are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and extend our thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and loved ones," Nagorka added.

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