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Hit-and-run driver struck and killed Walter Williams Jr., 72, in North Lawndale

The 1500 block of South Central Park Avenue. Image: Google Maps

A car driver fatally struck Walter M. Williams, 72, on his bike early this morning in North Lawndale and fled the scene.

According to police, around 2:20 a.m. on Monday, July 13, Williams was cycling in the 1500 block of South Central Park Avenue when the driver of a white car struck him. Central Park has non-protected bike lanes on this stretch.

Williams, who lived a block east of the crash site on the 3500 block of South Drake, was transported to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Police said officers stopped a motorist driving a car that resembled the one from the collision and had front-end damage, and took the person in for questioning. As of this morning there were no charges or citations yet.

A police spokesperson said the directions the cyclist and driver were going are unknown. "No one actually saw the crash but only heard it."

Williams was the third Chicago cyclist to die in a crash in the last month. The other victims were recycling worker Louis Jacobson, 67, who crashed after hitting pothole in West Ridge on June 18, and Issac Martinez, 13, fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Ashburn on June 29.

Also in the last month, a 31-year-old female cyclist, whom records indicate is Chicago Department of Transportation bike safety ambassador Whitney Warner, was critically injured by a turning CDOT truck driver in Avondale on June 23. And on June 27, a 42-year-old man was struck by a driver on the Magnificent Mile, resulting in a broken ankle.

Fatality Tracker: 2020 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets

Pedestrian: 13
Bicyclist: 5

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on media reports and/or preliminary Chicago Police Department data released by the Chicago Department of Transportation.

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