Dan Ryan hit-and-run victim ID'd as Brookwood Jr. High School assistant principal Rosia Mitchell

ByTre Ward and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Saturday, April 15, 2023
South suburban assistant principal killed in Dan Ryan hit-and-run
Assistant principal Rosia Mitchell died in a Chicago crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway early Friday morning at 28th Street, officials said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois State Police are searching for a vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway early Friday morning.

State police said the driver of a Jeep Wrangler fell out of the vehicle, for reasons unknown, in the local lanes of southbound I-94 at 28th Street just after 5:10 a.m.

Two vehicles then hit the driver, and one vehicle continued driving. The driverless Jeep ran off the road, hitting the left concrete median barrier, ISP said.

The person who was struck died at the scene. While police initially identified the victim as male, the Brookwood 167 School District identified the victim as Brookwood Junior High School Assistant Principal Rosia Mitchell.

Superintendent Bethany Lindsay said Mitchell had worked in the school district for over 15 years, starting her career at BJHS as a reading teacher. She was also a coach for basketball and volleyball. She had served as assistant principal of BJHS and Brookwood Middle School for the past four years.

Mitchell always inspired her students, and her loss is causing anger and sadness for those who knew and loved her the most.

"She would tell me sometimes she would share her story with them and let them know that they could be whatever they want to, because that's what I always taught my children," said her mother, also named Rosia Mitchell.

"I would never leave anybody like that," said her brother Johnnie Mitchell. "That person can provide answers that we would probably never know."

Mitchell was a beloved educator.

"It makes me so angry," said former student Rosemary McClendon. Mitchell was her volleyball coach and then her seventh grade social studies teacher, 10 years ago. "She always said, 'You never know, what you do might affect somebody else and you never know who you inspire along the way just being you.'"

At 38 years old, her family said she had more to accomplish, and are now left devastated over the rest of her goals that will never come to fruition.

"We'll always keep you at the front of our minds because we know how bright you were in a world that's so dark," Johnnie Mitchell said.

No one else was injured, state police said.

All local lanes were closed at 31st Street, and reopened at about 11:55 a.m.

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