For the second time in four days, driver strikes another car, then kills a pedestrian

Looking west towards 79th/Stony Island/South Chicago.  Image: Google Maps
Looking west towards 79th/Stony Island/South Chicago. Image: Google Maps

Last Friday evening, a driver ran a red light in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood, hitting another car, and then fatally striking two women on the sidewalk. Only four days later, early this morning another motorist collided with another vehicle near the border of South Chicago, Avalon Park, and South Shore, and then killed a female pedestrian.

According to police, on Tuesday, November 16, around 4 a.m., a female was crossing the street near the intersection of 79th Street, Stony Island Avenue, and South Chicago Avenue. A person driving a black SUV was involved in a crash with a burgundy Rav4 crossover SUV, and then struck the pedestrian.

Police said the victim was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. The Cook County medical examiner’s office has not yet released the victim’s identity.

No other injuries were reported.

The driver of the Black SUV fled west on 79th, according to police. No one is in custody.

According to an ABC Chicago report, a pair of gym shoes were left at the scene. Gabriel Reyes, who was working nearby at Maxwell Street Grill, told ABC he heard the collision, and then what appeared to be an argument, before the black SUV driver sped off. “I heard like a big loud noise, a gunshot or something, then bam! Some cars were racing back and forth and left down South Shore.”

“This could happen to anybody,” Reyes told ABC. “We come here working every day, and you never know.”

79th/Stony Island/ South Chicago. Image: Google Maps
79th/Stony Island/ South Chicago. Image: Google Maps

79th/Stony Island/South Chicago, a six-way intersection where sight lines are obscured by elevated railroad tracks, the Chicago Skyway, and access ramps to the expressway, has been rated one of the most dangerous intersections in the city. According to a Block Club Chicago report this summer, there were 121 crashes at or near the intersection between January 1 and late June of this year.

Local Congressional rep Bobby Rush has requested $800,000 in federal funding to study ways to improve safety at the intersection, but so far the money has not come through and no major changes have been made to the intersection.

“I was told the [recently passed federal] infrastructure bill did not end up including any earmarks, so Representative Rush’s request did not materialize,” a city official told Streetsblog today. “But we are still interested and will be keeping an eye on grant possibilities to seek planning and environmental linkages study funding in 2022.”

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

Pedestrian: 21
Bicyclist: 9

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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