Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In

Driver who failed to yield fatally struck Yehuala Melkama, 44, in Uptown crosswalk

5:44 PM CDT on April 20, 2022

Looking west on Sunnyside Avenue towards Hazel Street. Construction fencing and cars parked too close to the intersection may have blocked the driver’s view of the crosswalk at the south leg of the intersection. Photo: John Greenfield

Sunday afternoon a driver who failed to yield while making a left turn at the intersection of two residential streets in Uptown struck and killed Yehuala Melkama, 44, as she crossed the street.

According to Police News Affairs, at about 3:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, Melkama was walking in the crosswalk in the south leg of the intersection of Sunnyside Avenue and Hazel Street. A man driving west on Sunnyside in a gray Honda Accord sedan attempted to make a southbound left turn and struck her.

Melkama, who lived about a block away from the crash site, was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she was pronounced dead around 3:45 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The Honda driver was cited for failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the road, police said.

Tragically, drivers failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and striking them is a common phenomenon in Chicago. On March 20 of this year an elderly motorist struck and injured a 6-year-old child and a woman, 42, as they crossed Ashland Avenue at Berwyn Avenue in the Andersonville neighborhood of the Edgewater community area, about two miles northwest of the Uptown fatality site. That driver was issued a ticket for failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.
Fatality Tracker: 2022 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets

Pedestrian: 4
Bicyclist: 2

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.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

After trying to pick up her phone while driving SUV, off-duty CPD officer jumped curb and killed woman, 56, on sidewalk

It's infuriating that a person who was entrusted to help keep the public safe was reckless enough to take her eyes off the road while driving to pick up a phone, with tragic consequences.

December 8, 2023

Day Four of Streetsblog Chicago’s Bike Lane Week: A few surprises on the Mid-North Side

Interestingly, I saw a few things that were previously off my sustainable transportation infrastructure geek radar.

December 8, 2023

Not so Swift: Yellow Line restoration drags on after crash, as confusion reigns over shuttle bus service

Yellow ‘L’ line service remains suspended three weeks after a November 16 collision with a snowplow, and the shuttle service is unpredictable.

December 7, 2023

Visiting new bikeways on the Near Southwest and Near South sides on Day Three of Bike Lane Week

Covering a fairly broad swath of territory, from Little Village to the South Loop.

December 7, 2023
See all posts