Pedestrian Killed in Hit-and-Run on Avondale’s Polish Business Strip

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Driver’s viewpoint of the crash site. This image was taken in October 2011, before continental crosswalks were striped.

Around midnight on Saturday night, a 51-year-old pedestrian was killed on the 3000 block of North Milwaukee by a driver who fled the scene, police said. This block, in the Avondale neighborhood, is dense with businesses catering to Polish immigrants.

The victim, identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office as Ronald Lee Hubert, was crossing Milwaukee eastbound on Ridgeway in the crosswalk, according to a witness. The driver of a southbound SUV, taveling “at a high rate of speed” struck Hubert and then continued driving, according to Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zavala.

The intersection is unsignalized, and the crossing was recently marked as a high-visibility, zebra-striped, “continental” crosswalk. Obviously, the driver violated the state law requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.

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Continental crosswalks are visible in this more recent image.

The victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 1:10 a.m., according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy showed that Hubert died of multiple injuries from the crash, which was ruled to be accidental.

The vehicle is a black Chevrolet Suburban with blue lights, according to a witness. No one was in custody as of this morning and the Major Accidents Investigation Unit is looking into the case, Zavala said.

Fatality Tracker: 2013 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 11 (10 were from hit-and-run crashes, 2 in truck crashes)
Bicyclist: 2

  • David Munson

    This is at the end of my block. This crosswalk and the one just north of it at Lawndale are an immense safety hazard. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE. Every time I cross Milwaukee here, I feel I am taking my life in my hands. The area is full of families with small children, not to mention plenty of elderly citizens. I emailed the Alderman’s office about having signs put in reminding drives of the need to stop for pedestrians, and they said they wanted to have the city perform the necessary traffic survey to potentially follow through with something like that. I encourage others to approach the Ward 30 Alderman’s office (who were very responsive) and other city officials on this matter. If you live in the neighborhood, you know how hazardous this area is, any time of day.

  • Fred

    You can put one of those fancy stop for pedestrian signs up at this intersection, but your friend from up the street Logan Square Driver will just mow them down on his way through.

  • CL

    Horrible news. Unfortunately not surprising considering how many drivers plow through crosswalks even when people are standing in them. Crossing any fast-moving street is scary, because most drivers clearly don’t want to stop. Sometimes I’m torn between crossing anyway and forcing people to stop, or waiting forever until there is a break because you never know if people are truly paying attention.

    The lack of stopping at crosswalks, IMO, is one of our biggest safety emergencies. I would like to see an aggressive campaign to inform drivers of the law — not just the one pamphlet but commercials, radio, etc. I think a lot of people don’t even know they’re supposed to stop.

  • Jakub Muszynski

    It is unfortunately very scary and dangerous at busy Chicago crosswalks. Drivers know they have to stop at red lights and they do follow the rules accordingly. They have to turn cautiously and are fairly safe in our intersections.

    Many drivers don’t know that they have to stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, or they try to guilt pedestrians to stand their ground while many of those in cars whizz by. Just look at our battered “STATE LAW STOP FOR PEDESTRIANS” signs, you will see that some are in bad shape, some were torn off as cars drove over them, and even one of the big active waring beacons by The Art Institute of Chicago was run over. The middle one in the picture was personally noted missing today while I was visiting downtown.

    While we have many respectful drivers in Illinois and more specifically in they city of Chicago, these bad apples need to start carrying the burden they create. I personally witnessed a young reckless driver (i’m young myself) try to drift from one street onto another and crash into a light post, he broke the light fixture. As far as I know he left the the crash with his car totaled and a ticket for damaging city property.

  • The middle one has been missing for at least six months. (My earliest photo of its disappearance is February 2013.)

  • Ryan Wallace

    The article should be revised. State law requires drivers to stop, not yield.

  • David P.

    I live in the neighborhood and have the same problem with the crosswalk near me that I use often, on Pulaski at Roscoe. Nobody, bu nobody, stops there. Unfortunately it is not marked well, with old-style stripes and no safety-yellow signs. I, too, wrote my alderman asking for an improved crosswalk there and received the same response you did. I am very sympathetic to the people (e.g. the guy in the town in California who was cited for it) who create guerrilla crosswalks. I pass the crosswalk at which Mr. Hubert was killed at least twice a day, and when traffic is light cars, predictably, tend to do ~10 over and treat the curb side as a passing lane if the car in front of them is not going fast enough for their liking.

  • jen b

    People don’t stop fully AT STOP SIGNS around here (I live near Kimball & Schubert, where there is a PARK with lots of CHILDREN, and I was nearly mowed down this morning by a woman in a silver Toyota Avalon who could not be bothered to stop fully when I was IN THE STREET already!)… this is totally sad but unfortunately unsurprising.

  • Anne A

    Yep, that’s about right.

  • Jakub Muszynski

    So how has 311 been handling these kinds of things? I find that they are a fairly good at resolving these kinds of things, but I still have a big patch of pavement missing it’s top most layer by Merrimac Park that I reported months ago and keep re-reporting. I guess it is the complexity of some of these repairs that delays quick remediation of these issues.

  • Bob Tilley

    “Obviously, the driver violated the state law requiring motorists to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.” What about the state law that requires cars to not run into and kill pedestrians (and bicyclists)? Or is there not a state law for that? Is it “legal” to hit/kill a pedestrian who is not in a crosswalk? Is that how we value human life over the love of our automobiles?? Not to mention the state law that requires everyone involved in a serious collision to leave the scene!

  • Right, those things go without saying. I was just pointing out that this was a case where a pedestrian was in a well-marked crosswalk, and the state law requires motorists to stop for peds in crosswalks.

  • I don’t know. I think the alderman needs to initiate it. The $400 they spend from their “menu money” only goes to pay for installation, not maintenance, as for as I know.

    Is the issue you’re reporting continuously being marked as “closed” or “completed”? If so, that’s a shame.

  • David Munson

    I’d like to follow up that a few months after this, they did put in an updated crosswalk with the yellow sign in the middle of the road. It lasted about four days before the sign was hit by a car. And in the mean time, it didn’t do much to actually stop people from blazing through at full speed when people were trying to cross.


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