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Hit-and-Run Driver Fatally Struck Lee Kline, 28, in Gage Park

The 2300 block of West Garfield Boulevard. Image: Google Street View

Police are searching for the driver who struck and killed 28-year-old Lee Kline and fled the scene early this morning in the Gage Park neighborhood.

Around 2:45 a.m. Kline, was crossing the street in the 2300 bock of West Garfield Boulevard when the motorist struck him and did not stop to render aid, according to police. News Affairs spokesman Jose Estrada added that the directions of the vehicle and pedestrian are not yet known.

CBS reported that a witness said Kline may have stepped into the street to look for a CTA bus when he was struck, CBS reported. Neighbors said the sound of the crash was so loud, they thought two cars had collided.

Lee Kline
Lee Kline
Lee Kline

Kline’s friend Naphtali Dukes told ABC that after the crash she ran over to help Kline, who was knocked out of his shoes and hat by the impact. The driver left tire marks on his hat.

"It's traumatizing to see your friend laying there gasping for breath and laying in the street like that, and the person that hit him couldn't even stop and check on him," Dukes told ABC. "I was trying to help him. They was like, Don't touch him. Don't move him.' I was like, 'Because he's laying on his face - he couldn't breathe.'"

Kline was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

His mother Annetta Kline told ABC that he was a father of two, and the youngest of her four children. "Anytime something happens to your child, dead in the streets, it's real bad, hurting feeling for a mother," she said. “He was loved by everybody; his friends, his cousins. He was well-loved,” she told CBS.

As of early this afternoon no one was in custody for the crash, Estrada said, adding that the police have not released a description of the vehicle. However, a witness who called 911 told NBC that the car was a dark-colored sedan.

Fatality Tracker: 2017 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 11 (four were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 1

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s fatality numbers are based on media reports. According to fatality numbers released at last week’s Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council meeting, there had been 14 pedestrian deaths in Chicago this year as of April 30. 

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