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

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
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, 18, 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.

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