Hit-and-Run Drivers Killed 2 Pedestrians and a Cyclist in Chicago in the Past Week

A hit-and-run driver struck Lee Davis, 59, as he was walking in the Lake Street bike lane in East Garfield Park on Tuesday, August 27.
A hit-and-run driver struck Lee Davis, 59, as he was walking in the Lake Street bike lane in East Garfield Park on Tuesday, August 27.

Tragically, during the past week drivers fatally struck three vulnerable road users in Chicago, including two pedestrians and one cyclist. One of the pedestrians was at least the fourth person killed by a driver this year while on the sidewalk, and the third person killed at a bus stop. The cyclist was the first on-street bike fatality in the city this year. In all three cases the drivers either fled the scene or reportedly attempted to flee.

Hit-and-run driver who struck Lee Davis, 59, in East Garfield Park and attempted to flee charged with homicide

On Tuesday, August 27, at around 12:40 p.m., Lee Davis, 59, was walking in a protected bike lane on the 3900 block of West Lake Street, according to the police. Elijah Brown, 32, who lives in West Town, allegedly hit Davis with his car and then struck a parked vehicle, pushing it into a support girder for the Green Line elevated tracks. Davis, a Lawndale resident who had several grandchildren, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The 3900 block of West Lake Street. Image: Google Maps
The 3900 block of West Lake Street. Image: Google Maps

According to an ABC Chicago report, witnesses said Brown stopped at the scene for a few minutes before driving away. One bystander captured video of Brown at the scene. “I see the guy who hit the guy and [he circled] hysterical, saying he wasn’t trying to do it, and I start recording,” the witness told ABC. “And the guy who did it hopped in his car and took [off] eastbound down Lake Street.”

Police arrested Brown near his home less than an hour after the crash, the Sun-Times reported. The driver was charged with reckless homicide, aggravated DUI, a felony count of leaving the scene of a collision, and two misdemeanor DUI counts. At a hearing on Friday, Judge Charles S. Beach II set Brown’s bail at $300,000. The next court date is September 6.

Driver who killed Myrna Logan, 81, on the sidewalk in Belmont Cragin and attempted to flee not charged with hit-and-run

On Saturday, August 31, at 3:45 p.m. Myrna Logan, 81, and several other people were standing at a bus stop in front of Cochiaro’s Pizza, 4741 W. Fullerton Ave, at Fullerton and Cicero Avenues police said. At this location, each of these avenues has seven lanes, which encourages speeding by drivers.

Police said the 34-year-old driver of an eastbound white SUV veered onto the sidewalk, striking the group of people before crashing into the side of the restaurant.

The crash site. Image: Google Maps
The crash site. Image: Google Maps

Logan, who was pinned under the vehicle, was later pronounced dead at Illinois Masonic Hospital, the Sun-Times reported. A man, 60, was also transported to Illinois Masonic in good condition with a leg injury. Two women, 64 and 86, were transported to Stroger Hospital with a broken leg and leg injuries, respectively. A 76-year-old woman was also taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston with a leg injury, police said. The SUV driver was treated and released from Community First Medical Center, police said.

Witnesses told CBS Chicago that the driver attempted to flee the crash scene. “They were holding him down,” a local business owner said. “He was trying to leave with his car.”

Despite this, the driver was not held responsible for attempting to flee. On Monday, police announced that he had been taken into custody and charged, but later told CBS that charges had been dropped because the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office did not approve them, pending an ongoing investigation.

Police News Affairs told Streetsblog today that the driver is currently charged with three misdemeanors: failure to carry a valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured vehicle, and failure to stay in the lane.

Residents have left candles and flowers at the site as a memorial to Logan. “It kind of hurt to find out that someone died in such a gruesome way, it’s devastating to hear about it,” one person who left flowers told CBS. “Even though I didn’t see it [and] I didn’t know them, it touched me.”

Drivers have struck at least three other people on sidewalks in Chicago this year, including two at CTA bus stops:

Richard Williams, 56, killed by a hit-and-run driver in West Garfield Park, first on-street Chicago bike fatality of 2019

On Sunday, September 1, Richard Williams, 26, was riding a mountain bike in the 4500 block of West Lake Street, six blocks west of where Lee Davis was killed. Unlike most of Lake Street on the West Side, this stretch does not have parking-protected bike lanes but instead has buffered lanes, which provide no physical protection from traffic.

The 4500 block of West Lake Street. Image: Google Maps
The 4500 block of West Lake Street. Image: Google Maps

Police said the driver of a black four-door 2007 Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV struck Williams, who was pronounced dead at the scene. Williams was the first on-street Chicago bike fatality of 2019.

According to police, the driver fled the scene. The SUV may have damage to the bumper headlight, and passenger side hood. Anyone with info on the case is urged to call Major Accidents at 312-745-4521.

Stock image of a
Stock image of a Chevrolet Trailbrazer SUV.

Fatality Tracker: 2019 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets
Pedestrian: 28
Bicyclist: 1

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

 

  • rohmen

    Very sad and avoidable incidents, and thoughts go out to all of the families.

    Lake Street isn’t really functioning like a protected bike lane. Even the parking protected sections see heavy traffic in the “parking” lane, as there’s simply not a lot of people that park on Lake. In certain sections further west of Garfield Park, the parking lanes become an attractive extra driving lane for cars (which then often go over 35 mph). They’ve installed barriers to prevent driving in the parking lanes in certain known trouble spots, but they really need to do it on the whole lengthy of Lake. Hopefully, with these avoidable incidents in mind, that will start to happen.

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