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Driver Killed Dolores Sobczak, 76, and Injured Her Mother in Avondale Parking Lot

Dolores Sobczak and her mother Johanna Kazak.

An 89-year-old man fatally struck Dolores Sobczak, 76, and seriously injured her mother Johanna Kazak, 96, in an Avondale parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

According to police, at about 3:05 p.m. the women had left a restaurant in the shopping plaza on the 2900 block of West Addison, which also includes a Target store, and were entering their car in the parking lot. The male driver was trying to park his Chevy Tahoe SUV when he hit the gas pedal and went careening across the lot, striking the victims as wells as other parked cars, witnesses said.

Both women were hospitalized with serious injuries. Sobczak was pronounced dead at about 7:30 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The shopping mall where the crash took place. Image: Google Street View
The shopping mall where the crash took place. Image: Google Street View
The shopping mall where the crash took place. Image: Google Street View

Tow truck driver Kyle Belcher, who responded to the crash, told ABC7 that the male driver had first struck a rail in the parking lot before hitting two other cars. He said Kazak was knocked to the ground and trapped under a vehicle. But he said it wasn’t until about 20 minutes after Belcher and a coworker had arrived that the coworker discovered Sobczak pinned between one of the cars and an iron fence. “They had to cut the gate out just to get her out,” Belcher said.

The male driver was cited for reckless driving, according to police.

Sobczak’s obituary states that she worked for 40-plus years as a registered nurse at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in West Town, and she served as Kazak’s caregiver. “Dolores was a loving and compassionate person in all aspects of her life,” the obituary states. “She loved her work, loved helping others, and touched the hearts of those around her… She will leave behind a legacy of love and will be dearly missed, but in our heart always.”

Fatality Tracker: 2018 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 6
Bicyclist: 1

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago streets. The pedestrian count above is based on Chicago Police Department data for January 2018 released by the Chicago Department of Transportation, plus media reports for February through April.

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