Driver killed Araceli Gutierrez, 48, and Giovanne Bucio, 12, during Christmas preparations

Giovanne Bucio
Giovanne Bucio

Tragically, a hit-and-run driver killed Araceli Gutierrez, 48, and Giovanne Bucio, 12, during Christmas week in the Southwest Side Gage Park while the pair was taking a break from decorating for the holiday.

On Wednesday, December 23, at about 8:10 p.m. Gutierrez and Bucio were crossing southbound in the 3100 block of West 55th Street, according to a Chicago Police Department spokesperson. Speeding is reportedly common on this stretch. The eastbound driver of a dark-colored SUV, likely a 2009 to 2012 Chevy Malibu, struck them and did not stop to render aid.

Guttierrez was transported to the University of Chicago Hospital while Bucio was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital. Both victims were pronounced dead at the hospitals, police said.

The driver has not been located, and no image of the car has been released, according to CPD. Major Accidents and Area One detectives are investigating.

The 3100 block of West 55th Street. Image: Google Maps
The 3100 block of West 55th Street. Image: Google Maps

“The family is in total shock, because they had just walked out of the house,” community activist Andrew Holmes, who spoke on behalf of the family, told ABC Chicago. Holmes said they were in the midst of decorating for Christmas when Gutierrez made a run to a Walgreens at 55th and Kedzie Avenue, and Bucio, a relative, accompanied her.

Neighbor Maria Santana told ABC she heard the crash and ran outside to find the victims lying in the street. “You know we’re around Christmas. It’s a child. It’s careless someone could run away and just watch people lay there.”

Bucio’s uncle Jose Bucio told ABC the child was “a charming boy… He did not deserve this.”

The family is asking people with information about the crash to call 1-800-883-5587.

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

Pedestrian: 34
Bicyclist: 8

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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