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Hit-and-run driver killed Vesmo Bernard Hanks, Jr., 25, who was reportedly fleeing a police stop on foot in Austin

Altogether, drivers fatally struck 30 pedestrians on Chicago streets in 2023.

5:20 PM CST on January 16, 2024

The crash location. Image: Google Maps

Sadly, last month a hit-and-run driver struck and killed Vesmo Bernard Hanks, Jr., 25, whom the Chicago Police Departments says was running from a police stop at the time.

According to the initial CPD statement, on Tuesday, December 12 at around 2:30 p.m., Hanks was sitting in a stolen car parked at Buddy Bear Car Wash, 818 S. Cicero Avenue (4800 W.) in the Austin community. "Members of the Vehicular Hijacking Task Force attempted to conduct an investigatory stop when the suspect fled on foot," the statement said. Cicero is is a five-lane street at this location, which encourages speeding. "The suspect ran a short distance into the street and was struck by a [driver]." The motorist did not stop.

Image of the collision from the traffic crash report.

Hanks, who lived several miles west of the crash site in the suburb of Villa Park, was taken to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:55 p.m, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The CPD statement said the Major Accidents Investigation Unit was investigating, and the Civilian Office of Police Accountability was responding.

Vesmo Bernard Hanks, Jr.

NBC reported that the involved officers were put on routine administrative duties for a month, in keeping with CPD policy. COPA asked anyone with info on the case to call 312-746-3609, or visit its website to provide a tip.

The traffic crash report has no witnesses listed, and the narrative provides little information about how the crash occurred. The make and model of the car whose driver killed Hanks is listed as "unknown."

Earlier this week a Police News Affairs spokesperson told Streetsblog no Community Bulletin had been issued about the hit-and-run driver, and had no updates on the case.

Hanks' family has posted an obituary with a slide show to memorialize him.

Streetsblog Chicago Fatality Tracker

Pedestrian: 30

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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