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Pedestrian Fatality

Hit-and-run driver fatally struck CPS teacher Charles “Charlie” Mills, 56, on Pulaski, which is plagued with traffic violence

Mills was the fifth vulnerable road user killed on Pulaski in Chicago in the last nine months.

The 6300 block of South Pulaski. Image: Google Maps

Tragically, last Sunday night a sedan driver fatally struck Chicago Public Schools teacher Charles "Charlie" Mills, 56, as he crossed the 6300 block of South Pulaski Road in West Lawn and fled the scene.

Prior to Mills' death, last Thursday at a community meeting in the nearby Archer Heights community, after two people had recently been killed and seven injured on Pulaski, residents begged pleaded with officials to stop the traffic violence.

And yesterday WBEZ reported that 430 trucks were counted in one hour at Pulaski and 41st Street in Archer Heights, contributing to traffic danger on Pulaski.

According to the initial Chicago Police Department statement on Mills' case, on Sunday, March 31, around 11:45 p.m. Mills was on foot in the 6300 block of South Pulaski. The driver of a red sedan, possibly a 2012 Chevrolet with the Illinois registration number V455842 was speeding northbound, then struck the pedestrian and fled north. Mills was pronounced dead on the scene.

Image of the collision from the crash report.

The Illinois Traffic Crash Report, completed by the CPD, provides more details about what reportedly happened. It names two witnesses, who both told responding officers that the driver was speeding in the inside northbound lane. They said Mills, who lived a half mile southwest of the crash site, was walking east when the motorist struck him.

ABC Chicago reported that Mills taught at Jones College Prep. The school said in a statement, "Charlie was a beloved member of our Diverse Learner team who also offered his expertise to our many performing arts productions. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time."

Charles "Charlie" Mills

Daycare worker Elizabeth Romero, who is employed nearby at 43rd and Pulaski, told ABC that Pulaski has long been a dangerous street, and last year a driver nearly crashed into her workplace. Multiple drivers have struck a metal fence near the building. "There's always [crashes]. We see a lot of races happening," she told ABC. "It's very dangerous for pedestrians to even cross the street."

Pulaski Road is generally a broad, 5-lane street that encourages people to speed. In the last nine months drivers fatally struck three other pedestrians and one bike rider on Pulaski in elsewhere in the city:

• On February 8, 2024, a pickup truck driver ran a stoplight and fatally struck Jiekun Xu, 68, as she walked across Pulaski Road at 44th Street in Archer Heights.

• 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 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 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.

Read the ABC report here.

Chicago Fatality Tracker

Pedestrian: 8

Bicyclist: 0

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.

2024 Chicago pedestrian fatality cases

• On March 31, 2024, a hit-and-run sedan driver fatally struck CPS teacher Charles "Charlie" Mills, in the 6400 block of South Pulaski Road in West Lawn.

• On March 3, 2024, an SUV driver fatally struck a man police said was "sitting in the street" on the 3100 block of West Marquette Road in Chicago Lawn.

• On February 25, 2024, a pickup driver failed to yield while making a left turn, fatally striking married couple Zofia Chruszcz, 72, and Ryszard Stebnicki, 75, in an unmarked crosswalk at Archer and McVicker avenues in Garfield Ridge.

• On February 22, 2024, a driver fatally struck a male pedestrian, 52, who was crossing South King Drive at 47th Street in the Grand Boulevard community.

• On February 8, 2024, a hit-and-run pickup driver ran a red and fatally struck Jiekun Xu, 68, as she crossed Pulaski Road at 44th Street in Archer Heights.

• On January 21, 2024, a hit-and-run SUV driver struck and killed David Marshall Hoyle III, 35, as he crossed 95th Street at Union Avenue in Washington Heights. 

• On January 7, 2024, 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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