Woman found dead on Joliet road

JOLIET, Ill. Melissa Lech, 20, was found unresponsive in the roadway in the 2800-block of McDonough Street, near Infantry Drive. She was taken to Provena Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet where she was pronounced dead.

It is not clear exactly how Lech died. Authorities are investigating the possibility that she was struck and killed by a passing vehicle but they say it is still too early to say.

"There are indications that she may have been at a bar prior to where she was found, but we don't have any concrete evidence to verify that right now. We are looking into it. We are trying to retrace her steps, of course, determine where she was prior to the incident. There is a possibility that she may have been struck by a passing vehicle after the incident. We just don't know at this point. It is just too early. We are investigating all angles," said Captain Jim Powers, Joliet Police Department.

Police are hoping witnesses will come forward with more information. They are also trying to piece together the events just prior to the accident.

While the accident reconstruction team is the scene, police are searching the area for any physical evidence.

"It's very early in our investigation to know if the young lady was walking along the roadway when she was struck. We dont' know if she was thrown from the vehicle," said Powers.

Lech was a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She lived in the 2300-block of Golf View Drive in Joliet. Her friends stood outside the home Thursday grieving, but said they were too distraught to talk to media. Neighbors had just learned of her death.

"I can't imagine, no words to describe that," said Donna Cieslinski, neighbor.

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