Trucker Fatally Strikes Man, 59, on Eight-Lane Stretch of Congress Parkway

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The 100 block of West Congress Parkway. Image: Google Street View

A truck driver ran over and killed a 59-year-old man last week in the Loop, according to the police.

On Wednesday, November 30, at about 10:26 a.m., the driver of a large semi truck was stopped at a red light, facing westbound, according to Officer Bari Lemmon from Police News Affairs. When the light turned green, the trucker pulled forward and struck the pedestrian, Lemmon said.

Police initially stated the driver fled the scene. However, Lemmon said today that the 50-year-old male driver didn’t realize at first he had run over the victim, but did remain at the scene once he was made aware of the crash.

The victim was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical inspector’s office. His name has not been released, pending notification of kin, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The driver was cited for failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the roadway. He is due in traffic court on January 30 at 9 a.m.

This section of Congress has eight travel lanes, and a few blocks west of the crash site it turns into an expressway. Despite a 2012 reconstruction project, which removed a travel lane further east and added pedestrian refuge areas in the median, Congress is still a dangerous, intimidating street to cross, which discourages north-south foot traffic to and from the Loop.

Along with the death of Phillip Levato Jr., 23, struck and killed by a hit-and-run SUV driver in the early morning of November 20 at Chicago and LaSalle, this was the second downtown pedestrian fatality case in an 11-day period.

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 21 (nine were hit-and-run crashes)*
Bicyclist: 6 (one was a hit-and-run crash)

*Streetsblog Chicago’s fatality tracker is based on news reports. On November 2, the Chicago Department of Transportation announced that there had been 29 pedestrian fatalities in the city as of September 30, according to preliminary police data. CDOT has not released data on the number of hit-and-run pedestrian crashes.

Update 12/29/16 9:00 AM: The victim has been identified as Jeffrey Harris.

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