Hit-and-run driver injures grandmother

Police release video to find offender
June 9, 2009 9:19:28 PM PDT
A grandmother who was struck by a hit-and-run driver is now in a wheelchair because of her injuries.Authorities released surveillance video of the accident hoping someone recognizes the vehicle and turns in the driver.

Theresa Perez was with her 7-year-old granddaughter at the time and pushed the child out of harm's way.

The accident happened on the evening of May 14 at Montrose and Kedzie.

The video may be disturbing, but investigators say they need the public's help to solve this case.

The victim, Theresa Perez, says she can't bare to watch the video of the crash but hopes it leads to an arrest.

"I sensed the car coming," said Theresa Perez, hit-and-run victim.

Theresa Perez says she sensed danger but never saw the car coming her way.

"All I could think of is my granddaughter is going to get hit, I just pushed her forward but he got me and it pushed me back," said Perez.

"The glasses fell off my grandma's ear...They were on the street and I told them to pick it up because I couldn't," said Damary Rodriguez, hit-and-run victim.

"All I remember seeing is white cloud. In my thoughts, in my head is 'I'm dead.' I'm not going to make this. Then when I moved to the side and I saw her crawling toward me, 'grandma, grandma' she said. I said 'I'm still alive,'" said Perez.

This all happened on May 14 just before 6:30 in the evening. Ms. Perez was walking her daughter home from dance practice at Our Lady of Mercy Church. The two stopped to look at dresses and then crossed Montrose and Kedzie on the walk signal.

"At that point a vehicle that was turning off of Kedzie onto westbound Montrose struck them in the crosswalk, did not stop, continued on without stopping to render aid or give information," said Elliott Musial, Chicago Police Department.

Police are looking for a white SUV. But the video that they hope will help them catch the driver was actually discovered by the victims' family. They noticed a surveillance camera on a nearby store and asked the owner to save the tape for investigators.

"We knew for sure there was evidence. We knew there was something and we didn't want it to slip away," said Jennifer Bonesz, hit-and-run victim's mother.

Theresa Perez expects six full weeks of recovery before she can get around on her own. But her granddaughter Damary has become her biggest helper.

"I say that she's a hero to me," said Rodriguez.

Theresa Perez says she worries someone who can hit a child and grandmother and simply drive off is so reckless that they could do it again.


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