Woman struck, killed by car in Pilsen

October 14, 2009 3:14:15 PM PDT
Chicago police say they hope one of their street security cameras will help them find the hit and run driver who killed a woman crossing a street Tuesday night. More details are emerging about the victim Martha Gonzalez, 36, who was the mother of two children according to police.

Police are looking at the surveillance tapes, hoping to get a better picture of the car that that hit Gonzalez. They believe they did not get pictures of the actual collision but may have pictures of the car from either before or after the collision, when the driver sped away.

Witnesses say it was a horrific scene. They say Gonzalez was crossing Halsted when a northbound car hit her, throwing her into the air. She was pronounced dead immediately.

"I ran in here just yelling. I was like in shock, I guess. I was yelling at the top of my lungs. I wanted somebody to call the police, somebody call an ambulance, something. Just do something. React," said Cristina Chavarria, witness.

Some witnesses say the victim may have been looking down at her cell phone at the time of the collision, but they say the driver of the car that initially hit her never stopped.

Police have released information about the vehicle. It is a blue or purple, four-door sedan with a chrome center grille and damage on the front driver's side.

There is a police blue light camera at the nearest intersection but it reportedly did not record the collision.

"We're reviewing the video right now; we don't know what we have until we're done reviewing the video. We're not trying to be evasive. Hopefully we'll get some valuable evidence out of it," said Chicago Police Department Superintendant Jody Weis.

The intersection was crowded at the time, shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday. Neighbors say it's a dangerous intersection.

"We've been here for about six years and we've seen a number of incidents in the area," Carlos Chavarria said.

"Personally, every time I cross that corner I'm scared, and I'm scared for the people that cross the corner too," Cristina said.

According to a family member, Gonzalez was married and had two children, a three-year-old boy and a teenage boy, and family members are on their way from Mexico for her funeral.


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