Allegedly Drunk Driver Kills Pregnant Woman in Lawndale, Flees the Scene

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The crash site. The collision was recorded by this security camera at a motorcycle shop. Image: Google Street View

A hit-and-run driver who fatally struck a pregnant woman has been charged with a felony count of aggravated DUI and a felony count of leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

On Christmas Eve at about 10 p.m., Karla Leanos, 26, was crossing northbound on the 4200 block of West Ogden Avenue in the Lawndale neighborhood, according to Officer Veejay Zala from Police News Affairs. Silvestre Garcia, 22, of the 2700 block of South Harding Avenue was driving southwest in a silver 2008 Chrysler sedan “at a high rate of speed” when he struck Leanos, Zala said. Garcia then fled the scene.

Karla Leonas

Leanos, who lived on the 3000 block of South Keeler Avenue, was seven months pregnant, according to friends, who added that she was married and had three other young children, ABC reported. She was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. However, doctors were able to deliver her baby boy, who is in stable condition and is expected to survive, according to police.

The crash was videotaped by multiple security cameras, according to ABC. Footage shows that Leanos saw Garcia driving towards her, but she was unable to get out of the way. Garcia struck her so hard, she was knocked out of her boots.

On Sunday, Garcia was charged with the two felonies, plus two misdemeanor DUI counts. He was also cited for misdemeanor counts of driving with an open container and a faulty windshield. Bond was set at $750,000.

“She was a good woman, a good mother,” a friend of Leanos told ABC. “She was an amazing friend.”

Fatality Tracker: 2015 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 32 (13 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 7 (two were hit-and-run crashes)