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CPD: After “verbal turned physical altercation,” man was fatally dragged by driver in West Garfield Park

The conflict took place at 626 S. Pulaski Rd., and the victim was dragged two blocks south, until he struck another driver's open door and fell, and the first motorist fled the scene.

2:17 PM CDT on July 17, 2023

The 600 block of South Pulaski, where the conflict took place, looking south. Image: Google Maps

According to police, a verbal conflict between two men last Thursday in West Garfield Park escalated into a physical altercation. That resulted in one of the men, a driver, dragging the other man down the street for two blocks, until the victim struck another open car door and suffered fatal injuries. CPD is seeking to charge the first motorist, who fled the scene, with hit-and-run driving.

According to the crash report, officers responded to a call about a man being dragged by a vehicle driver to 818 S. Pulaski Road on Thursday July 13, 2023, at 12:52 p.m.

The 800 block of South Pulaski, looking north. Image: Google Maps

The victim, who was "incoherent" and had no ID with him, was taken to nearby Mt. Sinai Hospital at 1:10 PM, police said. He was pronounced dead at 2:10 p.m. The Cook County medical examiner's office has not released the victim's name, awaiting notification of kin.

Responding officers said they spoke to the second driver, who said he was opening his driver's-side door of his Hyundai when the victim struck it after being dragged by the first motorist. The Hyundai had "significant, but drivable damage."

The crash report says the incident was captured by two Police Observation Device cameras. "An apparent verbal turned physical altercation ensued" between the first motorist, driving a 2012 Ford Fusion sedan, and the victim at 626 S. Pulaski. "In said altercation, [the victim] approached [the first driver's] passenger-side door with an unknown item in his hand. [The victim] then appears to reach into [the Ford] with said unidentified item. [The Ford driver] then pulls away from the curb with [the victim] still holding onto an unknown item."

Image of the start of the incident from the CPD crash report.

The report says the victim was then dragged two blocks south to 818 S. Pulaski. There the Hyundai driver, "unaware of the circumstances," opened his driver door. "[The victim] collides with the driver door of [the] Hyundai, releases control of the aforementioned item, and is motionless on the street."

The report says homicide detectives have been investigating. Yesterday evening Police News Affairs indicated to Streetsblog that no images of the Ford has been released by CPD, and no suspects were in custody.

Streetsblog Chicago Fatality Tracker

Pedestrian: 16

Bicyclist: 3

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

  • On July 13, 2023, a man was fatally injured after he was dragged by a driver and he struck another motorist's car at 818 S. Pulaski Rd.
  • On May 29, 2023, a hit-and-run driver killed Angela R. Mcknight, 49, crossing in the 1200 block of S. Independence Dr.
  • On April 14, 2023, a Chrysler driver fatally struck a man, 59, on the 8800 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue in Chatham.
  • On April 8, 2023, a turning sedan driver struck and killed Tracy Burton, 55, crossing the street at Laramie Avenue and Jackson Boulevard in Austin.
  • On March 29,2023, a sedan driver struck and killed a male pedestrian, 46, on the 2000 block of North Cicero in Belmont Cragin.
  • On March 25, 2023, a driver ran a stop sign at Washington and Green streets in the West Loop, fatally striking James Robert Thompson and fled the scene.
  • On March 19, 2023, a left-turning van driver fatally struck Guo Ning Li, 78, in a crosswalk at 24th Street and Wentworth Avenue in Chinatown.
  • On February 20, 2023, a right-turning FedEx step van driver ran over and killed Marsha Frankel, 72, in a crosswalk at Roosevelt Road and Wabash Avenue in the South Loop.
  • On February 14, 2023, a CTA bus driver fatally struck Kevin Herrera, 28, at at 47th Street and Ashland Avenue in Back of the Yards.
  • On February 7, 2023, a driver fatally struck Erik S. Wills, 49, on the 8800 block of South May Street in Gresham.
  • On February 6, 2023, a motorist struck and killed Stevenson Mays, 59, on the 5600 block of South Racine Avenue in West Englewood and fled the scene.
  • On January 27, 2023, two drivers collided on the 5000 block of West Washington Street in Austin and fatally struck Jennifer Kelleher, 25, and then both fled the scene.
  • On January 26, 2023, an SUV driver fatally struck an unidentified woman, 93, on the 300 block of South Laramie Avenue in Austin and fled the scene.
  • On January 10, 2023, a sedan driver struck and killed an unidentified man, 33, on the 3500 block of West Lake Street in East Garfield Park and fled the scene.
  • On January 3, 2023, a cargo van driver fatally struck Jaime Cuadra, 47, as he was exiting a vehicle on 87th Street in front of the Red Line station.
  • On January 2, 2023, a 45-year-old man was crossing Lafayette Avenue at 79th Street in Chatham when a speeding driver ran a red, fatally struck him, and fled the scene on foot.
  • On January 2, 2023, near 72nd Street and Damen Avenue in West Englewood, Roy Lee, 21, was getting into his car when a driver swerved into oncoming lanes, fatally struck Lee and hit three parked cars, then fled the scene on foot.

Bike fatalities

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