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Posts tagged "Fatality Tracker"

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Hit-and-Run Driver Killed Cyclist Aimer Robledo on New Year’s Day

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Aimer Robledo

2015 had a tragic start for the family of Aimer Robledo, a Humboldt Park man who was killed by a hit-and-run driver as he rode his bike home in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Robledo, 30, worked in construction and catering, and also DJed Mexican music at parties. On New Year’s Eve, he threw a party at his home on the 1400 block of North Avers, where he lived with other family members, DNAinfo reported.

At about 1:30 a.m., as the party was ending, nephew Raphael Hernandez told DNA that Robledo decided to ride his bike to go visit a friend. Hernandez added that his uncle hadn’t been drinking prior to leaving his party. After wishing the friend a happy New Year, Robledo stopped nearby to visit his own wife and two daughters, ages eight and nine, who lived separately from him. 

Around 2:40 a.m., Robledo was riding home from his wife’s house when the driver of a dark-colored minivan struck him under a railroad viaduct on the 4700 block of West Division, according to Officer Veejay Zala from Police News Affairs. This industrial stretch of Division has wide lanes and few intersections, which encourages speeding.

Robledo suffered a head injury but was still breathing when the ambulance arrived, Hernandez told DNA. Robledo was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:37 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

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“Good Son” Fatally Struck After Car’s Passenger Grabs Steering Wheel

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The crash site, on the 5300 block of S. Western Avenue. Image: Google Streetview

A Gage Park man was struck and killed earlier this month after a passenger in a car punched the driver and yanked on the steering wheel, police said.

Columbia College student and Redbox employee Eddie Fuentes, 24, was serving as a designated driver after a holiday party two weekends ago, ABC reported. In the early morning of Sunday, December 21, Fuentes dropped off his last passenger and stopped for a snack at a hot dog stand on the 5300 block of South Western, according to ABC. He was still wearing a Santa Claus outfit from the party, ABC reported.

Around 3:10 a.m., Kenya Thomas, 29, was driving southbound on Western in a Chevrolet Impala with three passengers, police said. Thomas’ husband Jason Rayford, 30, began arguing with the two other passengers, according to prosecutors.

After Thomas intervened, Rayford punched her and pulled the steering wheel to the right, prosecutors said. This caused the car to crash into Fuentes, who was standing next to his vehicle, according to prosecutors. Fuentes was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead around 8 a.m. from a traumatic brain injury, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.

Rayford, of the 11300 block of South Stewart, was charged with reckless homicide and misdemeanor battery, according to police. At a hearing the following Tuesday, prosecutors said Rayford fled the crash scene on foot and was apprehended a few blocks away. The judge set bail at $100,000. Thomas was also charged with a misdemeanor DUI and driving without a license, according to police.

“The only thing I ask is justice for my son,” Fuentes’ mother Laticia Monarrez told ABC. “Because if anyone knows my Eddie, he was a good son.”

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 25 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 8 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Driver Fatally Strikes 53-Year-Old Woman in Wicker Park

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The entrance to the CVS parking lot. Image: Google Streetview

Last night, a young woman driving out of a drug store parking lot struck and killed a female pedestrian in Wicker Park, according to Officer Janel Sedovic from News Affairs.

At about 7:40 p.m., Samar Khan, 23, was exiting the parking lot of the CVS at 1200 North Ashland in her Nissan Juke mini-SUV, Sedovic said. The lot’s driveway passes through the building and abruptly crosses the sidewalk on Division.

As Khan, of the 1200 block of North Cleaver in Noble Square, turned left to head east on Division, she struck a 53-year-old woman who was “standing in the street,” Sedovic said.

A police source noted that the pedestrian was “intoxicated” and “was wearing all black clothing.” However, the police report did not include details about the movements of the driver or the pedestrian.

The victim was taken to Stroger hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, Sedovic said. As of early this afternoon, the Cook County medical examiner’s office had not released the woman’s identity.

Khan was cited for failure to exercise due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian in the roadway. Major Accidents is investigating.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 24 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 8 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Cyclist Dies a Few Weeks After Being Struck by 89-Year-Old Driver


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The crash site at Lincoln, Addison and Ravenswood.

A bicyclist who was struck from behind by an elderly driver in September has died from his injuries.On September 27, around 7:35 p.m., Joseph Korner was bicycling north near 3559 North Lincoln in Lakeview, according to Officer José Estrada from Police News Affairs. Korner, 78, was struck from behind by Reverend Evaristo Loaiza, 89 at the time, Estrada said. Loaiza was driving a Mazda sedan.

Korner, of the 2100 block of West Belle Plaine, about a mile north on Lincoln from the crash site, was transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to Estrada. Although Korner’s condition was initially stabilized, he was pronounced dead last Thursday at 9:26 p.m., the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. An autopsy conducted Friday found he died from complications from his injuries.

Laoiza, now 90, was cited for failing to reduce speed to prevent a crash, according to Estrada. He last appeared in court on October 17.

This case serves as a reminder of the need for better screening of elderly drivers, to ensure that they can still safely operate a two-ton vehicle. Studies show that, after age 70, drivers are twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes, per mile driven, as they were when middle-aged. After age 85, they are nine times more dangerous to themselves and others.

Korner’s death is the eighth Chicago bike fatality so far in 2014. This is a sharp increase from last year, when there were only four bike fatalities.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 23 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 8 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Pedestrian Lida Xhelo Killed After SUV Driver Collides With Another Vehicle


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The crash site.

A Belmont-Craigin woman is dead after being struck by an SUV driver who had crashed into a second car.

Around 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, the SUV driver was traveling south on Austin Avenue and made an abrupt left turn to head east on Belmont Avenue, according to Officer José Estrada from Police News Affairs. The driver struck another motorist’s car and then careened northbound, Estrada said.

The SUV driver then struck a woman on the north sidewalk of Belmont, just east of Austin, Estrada said. A photo posted by ABC7 shows that the vehicle crashed through a wrought-iron fence and came to rest on the front lawn of St. Patrick High School.

The woman was transported to Our Lady of Resurrection Medical Center and pronounced dead at 7:03 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was identified as Lida Xhelo, of the 6000 block of West Eddy, a block south of the crash site, the medical examiner’s office said.

The SUV driver is in custody and charges are pending, Estrada said.

Updated November 6: Police have identified the SUV driver as Maciej Machniewicz, 45, of the 4400 block of West Barry. He was charged with a felony count of aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in a death. He was also cited three misdemeanors, including for driving without a license. Machniewicz is scheduled to appear in bond court today.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 23 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 7 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Pedestrian Killed on Near West Side


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The 1100 block of West Roosevelt, looking westbound.

Yesterday morning, a 57-year-old pedestrian died after being fatally struck on the 1100 block of West Roosevelt, which is located just west of St. Ignatius College Prep.

At about 6:30 a.m., several witnesses observed the man “walking against traffic,” according to Officer Bari Lemmon from Police News Affairs. He was struck by a westbound driver who reportedly had a green light, Lemmon said.

Caldwell was transported to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:11 a.m., according to officials. The driver stayed on the scene and was not cited, Lemmon said. Major Accidents is investigating the case.

Updated on October 19, 5:55 p.m. The victim has been identified as Joe Caldwell, of the 1400 block of South Blue Island, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 22 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 7 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Emily Fredbloom Dies After Taxi Crash on the LaSalle Street Speedway


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The 1400 block of North LaSalle, where Emily Fredbloom was struck.

Last Friday, Emily Fredbloom, 26, died from injuries sustained in late August, when she was struck by a cab driver while crossing LaSalle Street in Old Town.

On the Near North Side, LaSalle is a wide, five-lane street, which encourages speeding by drivers, and creates wide crossing distances for pedestrians. These issues were, or may have been, factors in a several recent serious crashes on this stretch of LaSalle.

On March 23, 2012, around 2:30 a.m., law student Jesse Bradley, 32, was crossing LaSalle westbound at Division Street (1200 North). Southbound motorist Bianca Garcia fatally struck him and fled the scene. Witnesses said she driving at a high rate of speed, and tests found she was intoxicated. Last July, Garcia was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Last Tuesday, September 16, around 4:50 a.m., a 23-year-old man was attempting to cross LaSalle at Chicago Avenue (800 North). Witnesses said the man “darted” across the street and was hit by a southbound female motorist, according to police. The man was critically injured and the driver was not cited.

In the most recent case, Fredbloom, a resident of south-suburban Lansing, was trying to cross westbound on the 1400 block of North LaSalle on Saturday, August 30, around 2:05 a.m., according to Officer Janel Sedovic from News Affairs. Witnesses say Fredbloom, who worked at a nurse at Northwestern Hospital, “bolted out into the street,” according to Sedovic.

Fredbloom was struck by a northbound cab driver, Sedovic said. The driver, a 51-year-old man, was cited for failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the roadway, and failure to reduce speed to avoid a crash.

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Woman Fatally Struck by CTA Bus Driver in Brighton Park


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47th and Western from the bus driver’s perspective.

Last Saturday, Celia Sauseda, 54, was killed after a CTA bus driver struck her at 47th Street and Western Avenue in the Brighton Park neighborhood.

Sauseda, of the 4800 block of South Damen, was struck by a westbound #47 bus at about 6:20 a.m., according to Officer José Estrada from Police News Affairs. “It appears the pedestrian may have fainted alongside the bus,” Estrada said.

Sauseda was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:54 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy was conducted last Sunday. “There was nothing to indicate a [preexisting] medical condition,” said Cook County spokesman Frank Shuftan.

The bus driver has not been cited. Major Accidents and the CTA are investigating the crash.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 20 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 6 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Cyclist Killed in Collision With Driver Is Bridgeport’s 2nd Bike Fatality in 2014


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The crash site from the cyclist’s point of view.

A 20-year-old bicycle rider who died after a collision with a Jeep driver was the second person killed in a bike crash in the Bridgeport neighborhood this year.

On May 29, Suai Xie, 59, was cycling on the 2900 block of South Poplar when she was fatally struck by van driver Gabriel Herrera, 65. After Herrera fled the scene, police were able to track him down via his plate number. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in a death, as well as failure to render aid and give information.

Last night around 11 p.m., Jacob Bass was riding a bike westbound on the 700 block of West 33rd Street, according to Officer Bari Lemmon from News Affairs. At the intersection of 33rd and Emerald Avenue, Bass was involved in a crash with the driver of a southbound Jeep Wrangler.

Police records state that the cyclist ran a red light at the intersection and “hit the vehicle,” according to Lemmon. Bass was transported to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Police ticketed the motorist for driving without a valid license, Lemmon said.

David Ziemba, 20, who lives near the intersection, told DNAinfo.com that he heard the crash, and then looked out the window to see Bass sprawled on the pavement with his backpack and shoes scattered a few feet away from his body. A friend of the victim stood over him and called for help. “He was crying and yelling ‘Wake up wake up’ and ‘He’s my best friend,'” Ziemba said.

This intersection is unusual in that it’s a junction of two side streets with a stoplight, rather than stop signs. There is also a stoplight a block east at Union Avenue, a northbound side street. Ziemba said that 33rd and Emerald is a dangerous place for both cyclists and drivers, adding that a friend of his was struck by a motorist there about a week ago, but escaped with minor injuries.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 19 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 5 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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Man Killed in Little Village Was 3rd Vehicular Homicide Victim of 2014


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The 4000 block of West 26th Street.

A Brighton Park man who was beaten and then run over by a motorist early Sunday morning was the third victim of a vehicular homicide this year.

On Monday, April 28, Darrell Cooper, 41, intentionally struck and killed Artez McBride, 20, in South Austin following a dispute, police said. That same week, on Saturday, May 3, another driver used his vehicle as a murder weapon in McKinley Park. Antonio Mendez, 24, was fatally struck following an argument on the 1800 block of West 33rd Place, by an SUV driver who fled the scene.

Last Sunday at about 5:35 a.m., Victor Mendez, 23, was involved in an altercation on the 4000 block of West 26th Street in Little Village, according to Officer Bari Lemmon from Police News Affairs. Following an exchange of gang slogans, assailants beat Mendez, who lived nearby on the 3100 block of West 41st Street, police said.

One of the attackers then got into a car and made a U-turn, running over Mendez, according to Lemmon.The driver fled the scene.

Mendez was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. An autopsy conducted on Monday found that he died of multiple injuries following an assault, and the death was ruled a homicide, according to the medical examiner’s office.

No one is in custody, Lemmon said. Area Central is investigating the case.

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 19 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 4 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)