Woman, 73, killed in Waukegan hit-and-run

October 14, 2011 4:51:59 PM PDT
Police in Waukegan hope surveillance pictures will help them find the driver of a truck who hit a woman and then drove away.

Pilar Ponce, 73, died of her injuries. The hit-and-run happened around 7:40 p.m. Thursday at the corner of Grand and Pine in Waukegan.

Police say surveillance video captured images of the pickup truck involved. A surveillance camera also captured one of the two men who were inside.

"We don't think that they had any doubt that they struck this person," said Commander Gabriel Guzman, Waukegan Police Department.

Police say Ponce was walking across the street when the west bound pickup struck her and kept going.

"She was laying out in the middle of the street. Cars were swerving to keep from running her over. So I actually ran out into the street to try to block off some traffic because a couple people almost ran her over," said David T. Jones, witness.

Police say the two men in the vehicle drove around the block and then stopped in a liquor store parking lot, mere feet from where Ponce lay bleeding. A parking lot camera captured their next moves.

"They both exited the vehicle and pretty nonchalantly walked over to the accident scene. The police arrived a minute or so later. It seemed like they stayed in the area a couple more minutes. They re-entered their vehicle and left the scene," said Guzman.

Police describe the truck, which sustained front end damage, as a newer model full size Chevy light-colored with a single cab, a cap over the bed and ladders mounted to a roof rack.

Cameras captured the back of the driver's head but got a clear shot of the passenger.

"They had every opportunity to offer up to the police officers that they hit the person, to come forward at that moment, but they decided to leave the scene," said Guzman.

Ponce was pronounced dead at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Police say she may have been walking to the liquor store where she was known to employees and customers.

"It hurts me because the lady was a very nice lady. She didn't bother anybody. She's an elderly lady," said Jones.

"People shouldn't be doing this to other people. You know, this happens. It's an accident. You can come forward, let us know right here on the scene. We could have taken care of the entire investigation right then," said Guzman.

Police say the drivers of the vehicle appear to be in their 30s or 40s.

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