Hit-and-Run Driver Killed Pedestrian Louis Jerry Ward, 74, in Chatham Last March

Surveillance image of the car. Image: CPD
Surveillance image of the car. Image: CPD

A hit-and-run driver struck and killed senior Louis Jerry Ward near the 87th Street Red Line station in Chatham in late March, according to authorities.

On March 29, police officers responded to a death investigation at University of Chicago Hospital, according to Officer Kellie Bartoli  from News Affairs. Ward had been pronounced dead at the hospital at 9:38 p.m.

“The victim was a pedestrian who had been struck by a hit-and-run driver at approximately 8:02 p.m. in the 0-100 block of W. 87th Street,” Bartoli said via email. “The circumstances of the incident are unknown. No one is in custody. It remains an open investigation.”

The Cook County medical examiner’s office identified the victim as Louis Jerry Ward, 74, of the 8500 block of South Damen Avenue. The death was ruled an accident.

Police released a surveillance image of a dark-colored, four-door sedan that was last seen heading west through the 87th Street/Lafayette Avenue intersection. The vehicle may have front-end damage. Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Accident Investigation Unit at 312-745-4521.

Last week at the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council meeting, transportation officials characterized the death as a bike fatality, the only Chicago bike death so far in 2019. However, Chicago Department of Transportation spokesman Mike Claffey said today that while the police initially reported Ward’s case as a bike crash, upon further review the fatality is now being classified as a pedestrian crash. Therefore, he said, there have been no bike fatalities in Chicago this year as of May 31, according to preliminary police data.

Fatality Tracker: 2019 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths
Pedestrian: 14
Bicyclist: 0

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

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