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Driver runs red, killing woman, 52, waiting for the bus in Auburn Gresham, flees

6:13 PM CDT on September 29, 2021

The northwest corner of 81st and Racine. Image: Google Maps

A 52-year-old woman killed while waiting for a bus Tuesday in Auburn Gresham, by a hit-and-run driver who ran a red, was the 16th on-street Chicago pedestrian fatality this year.

According to the Chicago Police Department, on Tuesday, September 28, at about 9:55 a.m., a 23-year-old man was driving a Chevrolet Impala sedan west on the 1100 block of West 81st Street with a baby in his car when he went through a green light at Racine Avenue. A 26-year-old man driving a Chrysler 300 sedan was heading north on Racine and continued through the red light.

Still from security camera footage from a gas station at the southwest corner showing the collision.
Still from security camera footage from a gas station at the southwest corner showing the collision.

The Impala driver struck the Chrysler in the intersection, causing the Chrysler to spin, police said. The Chrysler then stuck the woman on the sidewalk at the northwest corner of the intersection before crashing into the storefront of Dirty Bird's Southern Kitchen and coming to a stop.

The aftermath of the crash. Photo: Chicago Fire Department
The aftermath of the crash. Photo: Chicago Fire Department

The woman was taken to University of Chicago Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to police. The Cook County medical examiner's office has not released her full identity.

The driver of the Impala suffered a broken right arm and was transported to University of Chicago Hospital in fair condition. Chicago Fire Department officials said the baby was also hospitalized in fair condition but did not provide details on its injuries, according to an ABC Chicago report.

ABC reported that the driver of the Chrysler, who was uninjured, fled the scene but was later arrested. Police said citations are pending.

Residents told ABC the woman, who was known as Belinda, was waiting for a bus to work when she was struck. When the Impala hit the storefront, it broke a gas line, which made it unsafe for bystanders to assist her. The victim's husband ran to the crash site, still dressed in pajamas.

Jovon Smith, who owns nearby JS Liquors, told ABC speeding is a problem in the neighborhood. "They don't stop. This 81st Street is like a drag strip."

Tragically, it's not uncommon common for people to be killed by drivers while waiting for CTA buses. Here are a few  examples from recent years.

Watch the ABC report here.

Fatality Tracker: 2021 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets

Pedestrian: 16
Bicyclist: 7

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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