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Jason Kardish, 40, killed by hit-and-run SUV driver at Diversey/Ashland, is first Chicago pedestrian fatality of 2024

According to Police News Affairs, as of Tuesday afternoon, no one was in custody.

Jason Kardish and his brother. Image: Facebook

Update 1/11/24, 1:00 PM: An obituary was posted for Jason Kardish this morning, which states frankly that he was "the victim of a pedestrian hit-and-run" crash. "He was so loved by his entire family... In lieu of flowers the family wishes contributions be made in his memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital" in Memphis, Tennessee.

(Streetsblog Chicago will publish an update on 2023 Chicago pedestrian and bike fatality cases later this week.)

Tragically, early Sunday morning a hit-and-run SUV driver fatally struck Jason Kardish, 40, as he crossed Lincoln Park's pedestrian-hostile intersection of Ashland Avenue (1600 W.) and Diversey Parkway (2800 N.) in a crosswalk.

The Diversey and Ashland intersection, looking south. Image: Google Maps

According to the initial Chicago Police Department statement, Kardish was crossing the street around 1:25 a.m. on Sunday, January 7. The speeding southbound driver of a white SUV struck him and fled the scene.

Kardish was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition, police said. The victim, who lived about a mile northwest of the crash site, was pronounced dead around 6 a.m. according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. According to LinkedIn Kardish worked as a product specialist with Batory Foods.

Surveillance image of the SUV. Image: CPD

The CPD released a surveillance camera image of the SUV, a four-door 2009-2014 Nissan Murano with a moon roof that has front-end damage including a damaged hood and missing front grill. According to Police News Affairs this afternoon, no one was in custody.

Image of the collision from the traffic crash report.

The crash report, which does not list any witnesses, indicates that Kardish was crossing Ashland in the crosswalk at the south leg of the intersection. The five-lane layout of the street encourages speeding, and this intersection has no pedestrian islands. It's located in the 32nd Ward, represented by Ald. Scott Waguespack.

Kardish's case is the first media-reported pedestrian or bicycle fatality on Chicago streets in 2024.

Streetsblog Chicago Fatality Tracker

Pedestrian: 1

Bicyclist: 0

2024 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.

• On January 7, 2023, a hit-and-run SUV driver struck and killed Jason Kardish, 40, as he crossed Ashland Avenue at Diversey Parkway in Lincoln Park.

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