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Tour Bus Driver Fatally Struck Professor Who Was Walking to an Art Exhibit

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The intersection of Monroe and Michigan. Image: Google Street View

Hiromi Hosono, 42, an agriculture professor from Japan, was killed earlier this month by the driver of a trolley-themed tour bus who failed to yield while making a right turn.

Hosono, who was serving as a visiting professor at Cornell University, had been touring dairy farms in the Midwest when she decided to visit Chicago to go sight-seeing, and stayed at the Palmer House Hotel at 17 East Monroe, the Chicago Tribune reported. At around 10:20 a.m. on Saturday, November 21, she was heading to an art exhibit, authorities said. It was snowing at the time.

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Hiromi Hosono.

While Hosono was in a crosswalk at Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street, crossing legally with the walk signal, the tour bus driver, a 49-year-old woman, made a right turn and ran over her, according to authorities. Police News Affairs and local news reports did not indicate what directions Hosono and the driver were traveling.

A witness told the Tribune that when he went to aid Hosono, she was lying in the street face up, and she opened her eyes and moved her head slightly when he spoke to her. Other bystanders place coats around and over her and shielded her from the snow with an umbrella. First responders arrived minutes later. Hosono was pronounced dead at 10:24 a.m.

The bus driver was cited for striking a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Major Accidents is investigating the case, according to News Affairs.

Hosono’s colleague Andy Novakovic, who had been with her on the farm tour, described her as a vivacious, intellectually curious person with many friends. “It was a lovely week that tragically ended a beautiful life of a most vibrant and joyful woman,” Novakovic said in a statement. “She was someone worth remembering."

Update 12/1/15: The bus driver was heading east from Monroe and turning south onto Michigan, and Hosono was crossing Michigan when she was struck, according to Officer Thomas Sweeney from News Affairs. Therefore, it appears the collision took place in the intersection's south crosswalk.

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 29 (11 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 6 (two were hit-and-run crashes)

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