Pedestrian killed by hit-and-run in McKinley Park

Family and friends are mourning the death of a young man who is struck and killed near an intersection on the South Side.
May 3, 2014 8:13:55 PM PDT
Family and friends are mourning the death of a young man who is struck and killed near an intersection on the South Side.

Chicago Police are now searching for the driver who fled the scene.

The victim is identified as 24-year-old Antonio Mendez.

The fatal hit-and-run took place just before 7 Saturday morning near the intersection of Archer Avenue and 33rd Place. That's in the McKinley Park neighborhood.

Friends and family gathered not only to console one another, but also to honor his memory.

Meanwhile, Area Central detectives continue to look for the hit-and-run driver that claimed Mendez's life.

The grief is almost too much for relatives as they stand near the place where they say a driver intentionally struck and killed their loved one.

"I just woke up at 4:30 in the morning to go to work and he just told me he was going to home in a few and he never did, he never came back," said Katherine Marquez, the victim's wife.

Marquez says her husband of only a few months, a McCormick Place employee, was on his way home from work Saturday morning to the couple's new apartment in the McKinley Park neighborhood in Chicago's South Side, when the incident happened.

"Living life, got a job, got his first apartment, walking a straight line and for something like this to happen," said family friend Antonio Rojas.

Investigators say it was around 6:45 in the morning when Mendez, who was a passenger in a Chevy Cavalier, became involved in a verbal dispute with the driver of a white SUV.

Witnesses say the Chevy Cavalier then pulled over in the 1800 block of west 33rd place.

That's when police say the victim, as well as the car's driver and a second passenger, got out and were approaching the offender's vehicle when the unknown motorist struck Mendez with his SUV before fleeing the scene.

"Whoever did this, stop, you can't keep killing people's children," said Rosa Mendez, the victim's mother.

Antonio Mendez was taken to an area hospital where he died.

Saturday afternoon, detectives only have a vague description of the hit-and-run vehicle but hope security cameras in the area can help.

Meanwhile, friends and family are remembering Mendez as a hard worker whose life tragically ended to soon.

"He was an awesome guy," Marquez said. "We clicked, everything was amazing between me and him, I don't understand why would somebody just take him away from me like that. I feel like heart has been torn apart."

Saturday afternoon, police said they have no suspects in custody and they have not been able to locate the vehicle involved in the incident.


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