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Englewood resident Jeffrey Bond, 65, struck by a motorist who fled the scene, was the last reported Chicago pedestrian fatality of 2013. Bond stepped off the curb midblock at 1019 West 59th when the driver of an eastbound maroon or brown van hit him around 4:40 p.m. Thursday, according to Officer Steve Sesso from Police News Affairs. The victim lived around the corner from the crash site on the 5800 block of South Carpenter.
Emergency personnel transported Bond to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:23 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy performed the next day found that he died from multiple blunt force injuries. The motorist, who fled eastbound, has not been apprehended, Sesso said.
Although final crash statistics from the Illinois Department of Transportation are pending, it appears that 2013 Chicago pedestrian death toll, 22 by our count, was dramatically lower than last year, when 48 people were killed, and lower than the previous three years, with 35, 30, and 31 victims, respectively. The 2012 spike was blamed on a mild winter, increased driving for the first time in several years, and a rise in distracted driving.
Hopefully the lower fatality rate in 2013 represents a continuation of the downward trend, in keeping with the city’s goals of eliminating pedestrian fatalities by 2020. However the fact that 16 of the 22 pedestrian fatalities involved drivers that fled is a sobering reminder that more needs to be done to address Chicago’s hit-and-run epidemic.
Fatality Tracker: 2013 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 22 (16 were from hit-and-run crashes, 3 in semi- and box truck crashes)