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Pedestrian Fatality

5 weeks after reckless driver killed woman in front of Ald. Sigcho-Lopez’s office, hit-and-run killing committed one block away

Hopefully this second death will make it even more obvious to city and state officials that Cermak needs to made safer, and they will take action.

The gas station at 1947 W. Cermak where the victim was struck, as it appeared in July 2018. Image: Google Maps

After work on Wednesday, August 23, a turning SUV driver with a suspended license failed to yield to Irene Celestino Devillada, 48, walking in a Pilsen crosswalk, and fatally struck her. The crash happened at Cermak Road (2200 S.) and Hoyne Avenue (2100 W.), directly in front of Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez's (25th) service office.

About five weeks later, on the evening of Friday, October 6, a very similar tragedy took place on Cermak, only one block east of Sigcho-Lopez's office.

The locations of the August 23 fatality, and the October 6 death. Image: Google Maps

According to the initial statement from the Chicago Police Department, at about 8:06 p.m. a 55-year-old man was on foot 1900 block of West Cermak. The unknown driver of a white pick-up truck was driving east on Cermak when they struck the pedestrian and fled the scene.

This afternoon, Police News Affairs said no one is in custody, and no images of the vehicle have been released.

Image of the collision from the crash report.

The traffic crash report states that the pedestrian in Friday's case was struck at 1947 W. Cermak Ave., which is the address of a gas station at the southeast corner of Cermak and Damen Avenue (2000 W.)

"Multiple 911 callers related that [the driver of] a white pickup truck with aluminum rails was traveling eastbound on Cermak Road passing Damen when it struck [the pedestrian], dragging him a few feet from the initial impact before continuing eastbound on Cermak," the report narrative states. It says the victim was pronounced dead at 9:02 p.m by a doctor.

The report adds that witnesses weren't able to provide a license plate number to responding officers, who canvassed the area and spoke with staff from the gas station and two other nearby businesses. The employees said their properties had security cameras facing the street, but the footage couldn't be viewed until the morning because the store manager had left.

However, the report states that a potential vehicle with both headlights operating was recorded by a Police Observation Device camera at Cermak/Damen just before the crash took place. A minute later another POD camera at 1759 W. 21st Pl. recorded the same vehicle with a missing front passenger-side headlight, and potential damage to the side of the vehicle. The pickup was last seen a minute after that on a POC camera at 1759 W. Cullerton St. (2000 S.) with the same headlight not functioning.

Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th)

"This is the most tragic incident we have had, but we have had [problems] along Cermak in particular," Ald. Sigcho-Lopez told CBS after Irene Celestino Devillada's killing in front of his office five weeks ago. He said that since May he's been talking with city and state officials about conducting a traffic study at Cermak/Hoyne, because he feels the intersection needs more than just stop signs to make it safer.

"With a new mayor, there will be a new commissioner [of transportation]," Sigcho-Lopez added, according to CBS. "And with our state representatives, I do hope that there's more collaboration, so ultimately, we prevent these tragedies."

Hopefully this second death, a block from the first one, will make it even more obvious to city and state officials that Cermak needs to made safer, and they will take action.

Streetsblog Chicago Fatality Tracker

Pedestrian: 24

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

2023 Chicago bike fatalities

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