Hit-and-Run Driver Charged With Homicide for Death of 35-Year-Old Woman

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The intersection of 13th and Kedzie, from the driver's perspective. Image: Google Street View

A man who struck a woman in West Lawndale last Wednesday evening, resulting in her death, and fled the scene has been apprehended and charged with reckless homicide, according to police.

At around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the 35-year-old woman was crossing in a crosswalk on the 1300 block of South Kedzie in Lawndale, police said. Jessie Gaither, 48, who lives nearby on the 700 block of South Kedzie, was speeding south at such a high speed that when he struck her she flew into the air and landed in the opposite lane, prosecutors said at a court hearing on Saturday.

The woman was then struck again by the northbound driver of a white SUV. That motorist remained at the scene, but Gaither fled the crash and pulled into a nearby alley. He was soon arrested and charged with reckless homicide, fleeing the scene of a deadly crash, and reckless driving, according to police.

The woman’s identity has not been released, pending notification of kin, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

At Saturday’s hearing, Gaither was ordered held on $300,000 bond at the Cook County jail. The driver, who has multiple previous convictions, was scheduled to return to court today.

Fatality Tracker: 2017 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 5 (two were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 1