Fatality Tracker: Teen killed by hit-and-run driver in Little Village last weekend

View 31st and Pulaski in a larger map

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 28 (13 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 6 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 9
Skateboard: 1 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)

David Perez, 18, was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver 3:45 AM Saturday, December 8, in Little village, the Tribune reports. A northbound vehicle struck Perez while he was in a crosswalk at 31st and Pulaski and then fled the scene, according to police.

Perez, who lived on the 2700 block of South Komensky Avenue, was pronounced dead at 4:41 AM at Mount Sinai Hospital. At the time of the Tribune report, police had no description of the vehicle.

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time. View previous Fatality Tracker posts; see a data table listing all who’ve died. The Illinois Safety Data Mart is currently reporting 30 pedestrian fatalities.

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Fatality Tracker: 44-year-old pedestrian killed in hit-and-run crash in West Rogers Park

Tsering Dorjee, 44, seen here with his youngest son
Tsering Dorjee. Photo by Bill’s Digital Photos.

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 23 (12 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 6 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 8 (our last update listed 7)
Skateboard: 1 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)

Update November 17, 09:30: The driver turned himself in on Thursday. Fernando Jasso Perez, 23, has never had a driver’s license. “Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. set bail at $750,000 for Perez, who was charged with reckless homicide and failure to report the crash” (source). The Chicago Sun-Times published an editorial Friday urging state legislators to create a visitor drivers license for illegal immigrants. One of the benefits they espoused? “Police officers making a stop would know who is driving the car. With the threat of deportation lessened, illegal immigrants would have less of a motivation to leave the scene of an accident.”

Tsering Dorjee, a 44-year-old Tibetan man from India, was killed in a fatal hit-and-run crash on Monday around 6 PM in the 6400 block of N Maplewood Avenue in West Rogers Park and police are still looking for the driver, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Dorjee worked in the Cook County Clerk’s office and was the president of the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s very distressing and very disappointing because, in our community, we have very few deaths but they are natural – sickness or old age,” [Lhakpa] Tsering said [president of the Tibetan Alliance of Chicago]. “This is the first time a hit-and-run has taken a life in our community.’”

The car was described as a dark blue Volkswagen Beetle with the Illinois license plate P121817. Police asked anyone with information to call 312-745-4521.

Dorjee’s brother-in-law, Dakpa Jorden, 46, “was also injured in the collision and suffered a fractured neck and leg”, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

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Fatality Tracker: Man skateboarding to his car involved in hit-and-run crash a week ago has died

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A memorial for Reggie outside Café Con Leche. 

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 22 (10 have been hit-and-run crashes) (the Illinois Safety Data Mart reports 30 pedestrian fatalities today)
Pedalcyclist: 5 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 8 (our last update listed 7)
Skateboard: 1 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)

Reginald “Reggie” Destin died today from injuries he sustained in a crash on October 19 while skateboarding to his car in the 1700 block of North Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park. He was hit by an unlicensed and uninsured driver whose blood alcohol level was 0.188 with a previous DUI; the driver didn’t stay but was quickly caught by police. The Chicago Sun-Times has an obituary:

Destin was well known in the Chicago skating community and often frequented the skateboard shop Uprise, which is a block from the accident. He had jobs working for popular skateboard companies and owned a skateboarding shop called Push near Chicago and State in the late 1990s, Fonseca said.

Grid Chicago apologizes on behalf of the Chicago Sun-Times for their inaccurate use of the word “accident”.

We are classifying this as a skateboarding crash type, even though the Illinois Department of Transportation data will likely classify it as a pedestrian crash as skateboards are not recognized as vehicles or devices (like pedalcycles). Skateboarding is sustainable transportation; if you don’t believe me go to Destin’s crash location on a warm weather day to see people skateboarding to their destinations.

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A skateboarder in Chicago, at Milwaukee Avenue and Division Street – I don’t know his name. 

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Skateboarding is transportation. A happy skateboarder at Milwaukee and California Avenues – I don’t know his name either. 

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

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Fatality Tracker: Senior woman killed in hit-and-run, driver not yet apprehended

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 22 (10 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 5 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 7

Bessie Manning, 85, was crossing Division Street, southbound on Waller Avenue in the Austin community area, when she was struck by a “dark-colored” car and likely died immediately. Police are looking for the driver of the car. The Chicago Tribune has more details.

As a reminder, the speed of a motor vehicle involved in a crash with an unshielded human (i.e. a pedestrian or bicyclist) is the greatest determining factor of injury or death in that crash (the speed of the vehicle in this crash hasn’t been reported but now is as a good a time as any to publicize it). Simply put:

  • 20 MPH at crash impact: 5% chance of fatality
  • 30 MPH, 37-45%
  • 40 MPH, 83-85%
  • 50 MPH, nearly 100% chance of fatality

View Waller Avenue and Division Street in larger map

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

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Fatality Tracker: Three more pedestrian deaths since Sunday’s update

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This photo of two elderly Chicagoans attempting to cross Western Avenue has been featured on Grid Chicago countless times now, but it’s very relevant to the news in this Fatality Tracker update. There have been 10 pedestrian deaths in Chicago this month (so far) and 50% have been people older than 50 years old. Photo by Joshua Koonce.

Pedestrian: 18 (8 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1 is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 6

There are three pedestrian fatalities in this post, bringing the total number (known to us) to 18 deaths in traffic. The original reports come from the Chicago Tribune. 2010 saw 32 pedestrian deaths in Chicago and 33 in 2009. The majority of pedestrian deaths in 2010 occurred in March (6) and May (5). There was only 1 pedestrian death in August 2010 and 2 pedestrian deaths in August 2009. There have been 10 pedestrian deaths in August 2012, so far; five days remain.

Continue reading Fatality Tracker: Three more pedestrian deaths since Sunday’s update

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Fatality Tracker: Semi-trailer truck driver kills bicyclist in Fuller Park, flees

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American roadway design requires people riding bicycles and people driving trucks to “share the road”. Photo of a sign in California that says “bikes in lane” by Richard Masoner. Notice that the depicted bike is “in front” of the car.

2012 Chicago fatality stats*:

Pedestrian: 7 (6 have been hit-and-run crashes)
Pedalcyclist: 4 (1, this one, is a hit-and-run crash)
Transit: 6

According to the Chicago Tribune, a robotic semi-trailer truck struck and killed Evelyn Dean yesterday, while she was bicycling, as it was entering a Norfolk Southern (NS) railroad yard in the block of 300 W 47th Street in Fuller Park.

The semi was entering the Norfolk Southern facility in the 300 block of West 47th Street around 1:40 p.m. Monday when it struck the female bicyclist and immediately fled the scene, Chicago police said, citing early reports.

The unidentified woman, believed to be in her 40s, was dead the scene, authorities said.

The Tribune story (authored by “staff”) used robot car language, which perpetuates a dangerous pattern in crash reporting by removing the real actors of the story, by writing “[it] immediately fled the scene”. A person caused the truck to flee the scene.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, police are seeking the driver and calling this a hit-and-run crash. The Google Street View for this location is below. The entrance to the intermodal yard is between multiple viaducts, which likely affects visibility of people cycling on this street. WGN TV has a news segment.

Transportation commissioner Gabe Klein tweeted yesterday a link to CBS Chicago’s article on the story, adding, “Very sad, why we need protected lanes”. The City hasn’t proposed protected bike lanes on this stretch of road.

View 300 W 47th block in larger map

* The information is only accurate as of this post’s publishing time and includes only people who died in the Chicago city limits. View previous Fatality Tracker posts.

Updated 10:01 to add unrelated photo and change what constitutes robot car language in the quoted passage. Updated 19:50 to add the woman’s name and a link to a WGN TV news story. 

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