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Reckless Driver Killed Beyanca Stephenson, 41, at Roosevelt and Racine

6:27 PM CDT on August 1, 2017

The 1200 block of West Roosevelt. Image: Google Street View

A motorist was cited for negligent driving and striking a pedestrian after he fatally struck University Village resident Beyanca Stephenson, 41, early Sunday morning.

According to relatives, Stephenson had spent Saturday night celebrating a niece’s birthday with family and friends on a boat cruise from Navy Pier. She had returned home to her apartment, near Roosevelt and Racine, and was standing next to her car in the street on Roosevelt around 1:30 a.m. Sunday saying goodbye to loved ones.

Beyanca Stephenson
Beyanca Stephenson
Beyanca Stephenson

It was then that a 22-year-old man driving westbound on Roosevelt swerved into the bike lane where Stephenson was standing and struck her, knocking her into the rear window of a car parked in front of hers, according to police. Stephenson, who was the mother of two adult children, was transported to Stroger Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Video taken by Fox News after the crash shows that the driver’s side door of Stephenson’s white sedan was bent forward by the impact, and the man’s car sustain damage to its front right side. While the driver was cited for his recklessness, police said alcohol was not a factor in the collision. CBS 2 reported that the victim’s cousin said the man was speeding, although the police have not confirmed this.

“It's just sad, because you're with somebody one day, and they're gone the next day,” Stephenson’s cousin Alexis Mathis told Fox. “She's got kids, grandkids, and they're close, so it's going to be real hard for the family.”

Fatality Tracker: 2017 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 19 (seven were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 2

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s fatality numbers are based on media reports of fatal crashes on Chicago streets. According to fatality numbers released at a recent Mayor’s Pedestrian Advisory Council meeting, there had been 14 pedestrian deaths in Chicago this year as of April 30. There have been ten media-reported pedestrian fatalities since that date, which means that a total of at least 24 people have been fatally struck while on foot in Chicago this year. In addition to the on-street bike fatalities, on June 24 a cyclist was riding on a CTA train platform when he fell on the tracks and was fatally struck.

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