Hit-and-Run SUV Driver Killed 34-Year-Old Man in Avondale

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 1.33.41 PM
The crash site. Image: Google Street View

Police are searching for the hit-and-run motorist who fatally struck Christopher Sanchez, 34, at the intersection of Belmont and Milwaukee early Sunday morning.

At about 5:20 a.m. on Sunday, Sanchez was crossing Milwaukee on foot when the driver of a northwest-bound white Ford SUV struck him, police said. The motorist then fled northwest on Milwaukee, according to police.

HIT AND TUN_1456143441554_879594_ver1.0_640_360
Christopher Sanchez

Sanchez was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital Center in critical condition, police said. He was pronounced dead that morning, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police are currently searching for the driver, according to Officer José Estrada from News Affairs. They hope to recover footage of the crash from security cameras installed on nearby businesses. People with information about the crash are asked to call Major Accidents at 312-745-4521.

About 36 relatives and friends of the victim held a candlelight vigil at the crash site on Monday evening, the Tribune reported. Sanchez, an auto mechanic, lived with his father about a mile east of the crash site on the 3100 block of North Sawyer. The two men had been planning to visit the grave of Sanchez’s mother, who died from cancer last March.

Relatives noted that Sanchez has been suffering from insomnia since his mother’s death, and was in the habit of going for long walks late at night, which may explain why he was out early in the morning.

“He was hardworking, smart, respectful and family-oriented,” Sanchez’s brother José Sanchez said. “He was a great guy. Everyone who knew him would say he was a great guy.”

Fatality Tracker: 2016 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 6 (two were hit-and-run crashes)


Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Crashes Are All Too Common in Chicago

[The Chicago Reader recently launched a weekly transportation column written by Streetsblog Chicago editor John Greenfield. This partnership allows Streetsblog to extend the reach of our livable streets advocacy. We syndicate a portion of the column after it comes out online; you can read the remainder on the Reader’s website or in print. The paper hits the streets […]