Engaged soldier killed in hit and run

May 22, 2008 8:46:18 PM PDT
They were planning their wedding, until a hit-and-run driver shattered their dreams. Army Private First Class Howard Jones survived duty in Iraq, but not the streets of Chicago.

Jones was killed while crossing Stony Island Avenue near 68th Street Sunday morning.

His fiance says Jones felt strongly that his service in Iraq made a difference. He loved joking with his friends. He also had a kind heart and looked out for other people.

But now police are looking for the hit-and-run driver who killed him.

"I'm so thankful that I have them. It tells everyone how much he loved me and he can't wait to be back," said Phyllis Olson, fiancé.

Jones had been back for only a week when a speeding car hit him and left the scene. He was killed. The 35-year-old was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, and had recently returned from a nine-month tour in Iraq. Olson is devastated.

"He can survive a war and go over there and do so much good and then to go home and for so reason, it could have been him or anyone else, to get hit," she said.

Police are looking for witnesses as well as any surveillance camera video from nearby businesses. The only description they have at this point is of a dark-colored sedan.

Jones' fiance says he was proud of his work with the Army in iraq. He joined the military to earn money for school. A little more than a year ago,

Jones and Olson went through a mock wedding ceremony for a cable television design show on HGTV. They transformed her loft into a space for the ceremony.

"Such a magical day. All of the photos put a spotlight on the love and our relationship and all of the photos and the recordings of us together and he wrote his own vows that were so heartfelt to me that made every lady in the room cry, of course, including me," Olson said.

Jones grew up in Evanston.

His motto on his MySpace page on the Internet was "live each day like it was your last day. That way there are no excuses when it comes."

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