Drivers Killed Four Pedestrians in Chicago This Month

extralarge5
Police images of the maroon SUV whose driver fatally struck Norman David Esho, 83, in Rogers Park.

August has been one of the deadliest months for pedestrians in Chicago this year, with four fatalities so far. However, with 16 pedestrian deaths so far this year, the fatality rate is down from last year, when there were 20 deaths by this time, according to the Chicaog Department of Transportation. Here’s a summary of the four fatal pedestrian crashes that took place this month in the city.

Homeless Man Found Dead in Ravenswood From Possible Hit-and-Run

At about 4:50 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, a passing motorist spotted James Andrew Trunslow, 48, lying unconscious in the street on the 2100 block of West Wilson in the Ravenswood neighborhood, according to police spokesman Officer Jose Estrada. Trunslow was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy the next day found that the victim, who was homeless, died of multiple injuries from being struck by a vehicle, but the circumstances of his death could not be determined, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. The police department’s Major Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the case as a possible hit-and-run, Estrada said.

Pickup Truck Driver Kills Bolingbrook Man in Chicago’s Dearborn Park Neighborhood

Also on Saturday, August 3, John Lauricella, 43, died at 6:28 p.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital from multiple injuries sustained when Pedro Reyes-Cruz, 49, struck him with his pickup truck earlier that week, authorities said. Around 1 p.m. on Monday, July 29, Lauricella, of the 300 block of Musial Circle in Bolingbrook, was walking east on 31st Street crossing State Street in the Dearborn Park neighborhood. After Reyes-Cruz, of the 1400 block of North Bosworth Avenue in Chicago, hit him with his 1994 Ford pickup, the driver stayed at the scene and told police he had a green light and was unable to avoid striking the pedestrian. Reyes-Cruz was cited for driving without a valid license and failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the roadway, according to police spokesman Estrada.

extralarge2
Aftermath of the crash that killed Ruilan Zeng, 61, in Brighton Park. Photo: Josh McGhee, DNA Info

Teen Drives Truck Into Brighton Park Back Yard, Killing Woman, 61

On Thursday, August 15, around 7:10 a.m., Ruilan Zeng, 61, was picking vegetables in the back yard of a relative’s home on the 4500 block of South Saint Louis in Brighton Park, when a 13-year old boy crashed his father’s pickup truck into the yard and killed her. The father, a man in his thirties, whose name was not immediately released by police, parked the truck in an alley behind the house and had exited the vehicle to load something into the back of the vehicle, police said. His son moved into the driver’s seat; it’s believed the strap of his backpack caught on the gear shift and shifted the vehicle out of park.

When the truck began rolling forward, the boy tried to hit the brake but instead stepped on the gas pedal. The truck struck two garages and a parked car before crashing into the back yard and striking Ruilan. She was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead at 5:25 p.m., according to the county medical examiner’s office. The boy was unhurt; his father was cited for leaving the truck unattended while it was running and for driving on a suspended license.

index
Norman David Esho

Senior Fatally Struck by Hit-and-Run SUV Driver in Rogers Park

On Tuesday, August 20, at 6:22 p.m., Norman David Esho, 83, was walking eastbound in the south crosswalk of the intersection of Devon Street and California Avenue when a driver in a maroon or red SUV fatally struck him, according to police spokeswoman Amina Greer. The motorist fled the scene and was last seen heading east in an alley near Rockwell and Peterson. Esho, of the 6300 block of North Francisco, was taken to Saint Francis Hospital and was pronounced dead at 7 p.m., according to the county medical examiner’s office. That Thursday, police released images of the SUV, thought to be a Chevy Suburban or Tahoe or a GMC vehicle.

Also on August 20, about 18 hours before Esho’s crash, men in a maroon Chevy Tahoe struck and assaulted Jana Kinsman, 27, as she rode her bicycle on the 2600 block of north Kimball Avenue shortly after midnight. After the driver struck the cyclist with the SUV, a passenger apparently grabbed Kinsman’s messenger bag and dragged her down the street until her bike hit a parked car and she fell to the pavement, suffering bruises and road rash. “We don’t know that there’s any connection between the two incidents,” said Estrada. “We don’t think there’s a rogue Tahoe out there trying to run people over.”

Fatality Tracker: 2013 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 16 (12 were from hit-and-run crashes, 2 in semi- and box truck crashes)
Bicyclist: 3