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Driver Who Killed Linda Havlin, 68, While Speeding Backwards Got Two Tickets

Linda Havlin

The driver who fatally struck Lynda Havlin, 68, while reportedly driving in reverse at a high rate of speed on the Near North Side, received a mere slap on the wrist in the form of a couple of traffic tickets.

On Sunday, May 5, at about 11:45 a.m., Havlin was walking her dog in a crosswalk at Delaware Place and Dearborn Street, next to Washington Park, the Sun-Times reported. According to a witness, the motorist was driving backwards, southbound, at a high rate of speed when they struck Havlin.

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 5.37.17 PM
The crosswalk where the driver struck Havlin. Image: Google Maps
The crosswalk where the driver struck Havlin. Image: Google Maps

Havlin, who lived a block from the crash site, was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she pronounced dead on Thursday, May 9, at 3:49 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Police cited the driver for unlawfully driving in reverse and for striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

According to Havlin's obituary, she was walking "her beloved cavalier, Louie, on a beautiful spring day" when she was struck. A native of Wellesley, Massachusetts, Havlin was one of the first 50 women graduates in the Colgate University class of 1972 before earning graduate degrees from Harvard and Northwestern universities.

Havlin moved to Chicago in 1978 to and became the first female chief of staff to the President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. She ended her career as the national consulting and intellectual capital leader at the human resources consulting firm William Mercer, retiring in 2010.

Havlin held multiple positions on nonprofit boards, including Writers Theater in Glencoe, UNICEF, and PAWS Chicago, and she was a founding member of Impact Grants Chicago, a women's philanthropic organization. She also volunteered at the Art Institute of Chicago as a docent, and was a supporter of the Colgate lacrosse team, of which her son Todd W. Boulis was a member.

"Like everyone, I was shocked to hear the news and the circumstances," wrote a coworker of Havlin's on an online memorial wall. "What a tragic ending to an extraordinary life."

The family is requesting that memorials be made in Havlin's name to either PAWS Chicago or Impact Grants Chicago.

Fatality Tracker: 2019 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 8
Hit-and-run deaths (pedestrian or cyclist): 3
Large truck fatalities (pedestrian or cyclist): 2

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago streets, based on data for January though March 2019 released by the Chicago Department of Transportation, plus media reports for April and May.

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