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.
7:17 PM CDT on October 10, 2023
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.
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.
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.
"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
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 October 6, 2023. a hit-and-run pick-up truck driver fatally struck 55-year-old man on the 1900 block of West Cermak in Pilsen.
- On October 5, 2023, An SUV driver fatally struck a man, 70, while making left turn at 57th Street and Pulaski Road in West Elsdon, and a sedan driver also struck the victim.
- On September 21, 2023, the southbound driver of a white SUV fatally struck Lidia Morales, 46, in the 5900 block of South King Drive, next to Washington Park.
- On September 18, 2023, the drivers of a sedan and a crossover SUV crashed at the intersection of Peterson and California avenues in West Ridge, and one of the vehicles veered towards an unidentified man on the sidewalk, killing him.
- On September 9, 2023, a hit-and-run sedan driver struck and killed a male pedestrian, 56, on the 500 block of South Independence Boulevard in Garfield Park.
- On August 23, 2023, an SUV driver with a suspended license failed to yield while making a turn from Hoyne Avenue onto Cermak Road and fatally struck Irene Celestino Devillino, 48, in the crosswalk.
- On August 20, 2023 a hit-and-run sedan driver fatally struck Ulysses Coleman, 38, in the 5200 block of North Avenue in Austin.
- On July 25, 2023 a hit-and-run driver killed pedestrian Soyfa Athamanah, 69, in 5100-block of N. Broadway in Uptown.
- 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.
2023 Chicago bike fatalities
- On June 24, 2023, a left-turning driver fatally struck Józef Strus, 67, who was riding a bike at 57th Street and Natchez Avenue in Garfield Ridge.
- On June 7, 2023, bike rider Ron Mendoza, 43, died from injuries sustained in a July 5 crash with a car driver at Wrightwood Avenue and Pulaski Road in Logan Square.
- On May 7, 2023, bike rider Rick Lomas was traveling south on California Avenue in Humboldt Park when he was was fatally struck by a 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix driver who left the scene.
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