Driver Who Killed Woman in Austin Charged With DUI, Hit-and-Run


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The crash site from the driver’s perspective.

Maurice McDowell, 32, has been charged with fatally striking Jennie Davis, 64, on Easter Sunday and then fleeing the scene. Around 9:40 p.m., Davis was crossing the street at 5532 West North in the Austin neighborhood, a block north of her home on the 5500 block of West Lemoyne, police said. It is not known which direction she was walking, according to Officer Michael Sullivan of News Affairs.

McDowell, of the 1800 block of South 10th Avenue in Maywood, was driving west in a 2013 Ford Focus, Sullivan said. According to witness Sheila Davis, the driver hit a parked car before striking Davis, who flew up in the air, ABC News reported. The victim was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where she died from her injuries, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

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McDowell’s car. Image: ABC News

After the crash, McDowell did a U-turn and drove away. His unoccupied car was found shortly afterwards on the 1500 block of North Laramie, a few blocks east of the crash site. After police arrested him, he was charged with three felonies: aggravated DUI causing injury or death, leaving the scene of the accident causing injury or death, and failure to report an accident or death. McDowell was also charged with a parole violation in connection with a previous offense. He was due to appear in bond court Wednesday.

“[Jennie Davis] didn’t deserve this,” neighbor Lula Beck told ABC. “She was a wonderful lady. She’d help you if you needed something to eat, she’d feed you. If you needed a place to stay, she’d give you a place to stay.”

Community members said speeding is common on this stretch of North, ABC reported. Resident Janice Harris said Davis is the third person she’s known who was struck by a car on the street. “They need to put up cameras,” Sheila Davis said.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 9 (4 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 0

 

  • David Altenburg

    North Avenue is the worst. In the last 5 years, I have seen 3 separate buildings with vehicles crashed into them on North Avenue. (One of those was very close to this crash). Lately, there have been shootings along North Avenue that have involved shooters and targets in cars because it’s such a convenient street on which to conduct a car chase. Unsignalized crosswalks, such as the one shown in the Street View, are terrifying and dangerous to cross, but crossing at a signal often requires a detour of up to 1/4 mile. IDOT has designed North Avenue to move cars quickly, and it it meets that goal tragically well.

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