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Hit-and-run SUV driver killed woman, 93, walking in crosswalk to Austin post office

The intersection where the driver struck the senior. Image: Google Maps

In a particularly tragic act of traffic violence, yesterday afternoon an SUV driver struck and killed a 93-year-old woman as she was crossing the street in Austin to mail a letter at a post office less than 50 feet from her home.

According to police, on Thursday, January 26, at about 12:23 p.m., the senior was crossing Laramie in a crosswalk at Gladys Avenue and Laramie Avenue, a stop sign intersection. The driver of a northbound Porsche Cayenne SUV illegally passed a stopped vehicle on the right, entering a recently striped dashed bike lane, and struck the woman. She bounced off the hood and was thrown into the air. The motorist then fled the scene.

Diagram of the collision from the crash report.
Diagram of the collision from the crash report.
Diagram of the collision from the crash report.

The victim was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to authorities. Her identity has not been released, pending notification of kin.

As of this afternoon, no one was in custody. Police have released a surveillance camera image of the Porsch, which has Illinois license plate CZ60617.

Surveillance image of the Porsche.
Surveillance image of the Porsche.
Surveillance image of the Porsche.

A witness told Streetsblog she was on foot south of the intersection when she saw silver SUV being driven north, adding that the driver may have failed to stop for the stop sign, and that the SUV driver struck the car they were trying to get around. The witness said she did not see the motorist strike the pedestrian or get a look at the SUV driver. She said she lives in the area, and believes a stoplight is needed at the intersection.

ABC Chicago reported that a $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.

Neighbor Thelma Ramsey, a friend of the victim, told FOX Chicago drivers often speed on Laramie and blow the stop signs. "I be scared for myself crossing the street, so I just stand and wait [for a gap in traffic.] It's bad."

According to ABC, police data shows that hit-and run drivers have already struck 66 people walking in Chicago, compared to only 39 by this time last year.

Fatality Tracker: 2023 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets (including one scooter-on-sidewalk case)

Pedestrian: 5
Bicyclist: 0

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.

2023 Chicago pedestrian fatality cases

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