2 killed in hit-and-run crash in Hermosa, police say

Monday, January 19, 2015
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Two men are dead after a hit-and-run crash along North Avenue in the city's Hermosa neighborhood

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two men are dead after a hit-and-run crash along North Avenue in the city's Hermosa neighborhood, police said.

The victims, identified as 36-year-old Raman Cruz and 56-year-old Pablo Esquivel-Vega, were crossing the street in a crosswalk at North and Kildare avenues a little after 10 p.m. Saturday when a driver allegedly slammed into them, police said.

Surveillance video taken from a liquor store across the street shows the moment when a 2002 Buick speeding eastbound on North Avenue and Kildare struck the two men. The Buick did not even slow down. It finally came to a stop, two blocks further down, when it crashed into three parked vehicles.

"I just heard this boom and I knew immediately it was my car because on the weekend, nobody really parks on the street, so I rushed to the window, looked and I see my car and the car that crashed into it," said witness Danny Cantu. "Ran downstairs, it was a fast response, cops were already here."

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One man died at the scene, while the other was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver, a 24-year-old man, is in custody and charges are pending.

Pablo Esquivel-Vega, a father of five, was walking home from work at the Jimenez grocery store near the crash scene.

"He's a very nice guy, very quiet. He lived with two of his sons, a very nice guy, I'm feeling very bad. I don't believe it," said Alfredo Jimenez, store manager.

Both victims are originally from Mexico, but had lived in Chicago for several years. Cruz leaves behind his two sisters and his parents, Vega his wife and five grown children.