Hit-and-Run Driver Killed Joseph Ruta, 56, in Lakeview

The 1000 block of West Oakdale. Image: Google Maps
The 1000 block of West Oakdale. Image: Google Maps

A driver fatally struck Joseph Ruta, 56, in a Lakeview alley last Thursday, August 1, and fled the scene, leaving him to die, police said.

Ruta was discovered around 11 a.m. lying in an alley in the 1000 block of West Oakdale and transported to Advocate Illinois Medical Center, police said. The victim, who lived on the 2700 block of North Marshfield, was pronounced dead at 5:58 p.m. that day, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

On Friday an autopsy determined that Ruta died from multiple injuries from being run over by a driver, according to the medical examiner. The death was ruled an accident.

Police have not released a description of the vehicle from the crash. As of this afternoon, the driver had not been apprehended, police said.

Fatality Tracker: 2019 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets
Pedestrian: 20
Bicyclist: 0

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

  • Carter O’Brien

    Another “accident”… but I’ll tell you what’s not an accident, the vehicles IMO illegally parked like the ones shown. I have no idea if that contributed to this tragedy, but the way these vehicles encroach on the public way in this manner clearly impairs visibility, and the lack of any enforcement is at best benign neglect, and at worst a class action lawsuit waiting to happen. This is suburban behavior based on people having long driveways on their own property – it doesn’t work here in Chicago when they are actually half in the street and also generally overlapping sidewalks to some extent.

  • David P.

    That use of “accident” is grating, but what it means is that this was not a deliberate act.

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Right, that’s the only situation where we use “accident” in discussing crashes, in reference to the coroner’s report.


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