Chicago mother of 2 killed in Dan Ryan crash: 'They loved her'

Cate Cauguiran Image
Thursday, December 7, 2023
Mother of 2 killed in Dan Ryan crash: 'They loved her'
Chicago mother of two Stephanie Johnson was killed in a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway early Tuesday morning. The driver that hit her didn't stop.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A West Humboldt Park mother of two was killed in a crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway, leaving a hole in her family's lives.

Stephanie N. Johnson had been involved in a minor traffic crash on the expressway shortly after 2:30 a.m. Tuesday in the southbound lanes at 18th Street. The 30-year-old had gotten out of her car after the crash when she was struck by a third vehicle that was not involved in that initial crash.

"She was just a big ball of fire of life. She brought life to everything," said her mother, also named Stephanie Johnson. "It's a big hole in my heart, a big hole."

READ MORE: Woman fatally struck after crash on Dan Ryan Expressway ID'd by medical examiner

Johnson said she had spoken with Stephanie less than three hours before she was killed.

"I didn't want to believe it," she said. "It just took my breath. I couldn't breathe."

Johnson had to spend the morning identifying her daughter's body.

"This beautiful young lady is messed up now and I don't even know why, how, anything," she said.

The crash is still under investigation as the family remembers and mourns Stephanie's exuberance.

"Everybody she met, they loved her," said her aunt Tiffany Washington. "She was just so personable."

The love she had for her children now comes with the pain of knowing they will grow up without their mother.

"They're going to miss their mom, her bubbly spirit, her love. I mean, just everything and they're not going to have that," Johnson said through tears. "they're not going to have it."

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