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Pedestrian Fatality

Driver cited for fatally striking woman in her late 40s near 71st/Western in Chicago Lawn

The crash occurred Tuesday just after midnight.

2:27 PM CST on November 29, 2023

71st and Western, looking north. Image: Google Maps

Tragically, a car driver struck and killed a woman in her late 40s Tuesday just after midnight near the intersection of 71st Street and Western Avenue (2400 W.) in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.

According to the initial Chicago Police Department statement, on Tuesday, November 28 at about 12:15 a.m., the victim entered the street on foot on Western just north of 71st. Western is a five-lane street, which encourages speeding. The northbound driver, a 20-year-old female, struck her.

The crash caused injuries to the pedestrian's head and body, police said. She was taken to Christ Hospital in critical condition and pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

A Police News Affairs spokesperson told Streetsblog today the driver stayed on the scene and was ticketed for failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the roadway. "The investigation is ongoing."

Sketch of the collision from the traffic crash report.

The traffic crash report provides more details of what reportedly happened. It states that the crash took place at 7051 S. Western Avenue, the location of a bus shelter and a gas station. It says responding officers observed the car, a 1998 Toyota Corolla "parked in the middle of the street facing southbound with the driver still inside and [the victim] laying on the the ground."

The crash report states witnesses told officers that "while traveling northbound behind [the Corolla driver] by the address of the [crash], they observed [the pedestrian] jogging [across] the street while [north-south] traffic had the light." While two different witnesses are listed on the report, obviously the victim was unable to tell her side of the story.

According to the report, the Corolla driver told police that while she was traveling north in the leftmost northbound lane, she saw the pedestrian jogging across the street. "In an attempt to avoid the crash, she changed to the right lane, but [the victim] continue to run towards [the motorist]. [The driver] then struck [the victim] and pulled to the side and made a U-turn to see what happened."

The report says the officers checked whether the incident were recorded by the Police Observation Device video camera at the nearby intersection, but it was not.

According to the report, the Corolla driver agreed to submit to testing for intoxication and was taken to Holy Cross Hospital for tests. Her vehicle was towed and held for investigation.

The report states that the motorist lives about four mile north of the crash. The victim's name is listed as unknown, and her street address is listed as the same one as the crash site. The Cook County medical examiner's office has not released her identity.

Streetsblog Chicago Fatality Tracker

Pedestrian: 26

Bicyclist: 5

2023 Chicago pedestrian fatality cases

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 bike fatalities

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