Lakeview hit-and-run driver tried to help victim before slowly driving away, witnesses say

Eyewitness News Exclusive
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two women who witnessed a hit-and-run that injured a 21-year-old in Lakeview said the driver initially stopped to check on the woman she had hit before fleeing the scene.

The witnesses said the driver and the man with her were part of a group of 20 people trying to help the young woman, but as soon as Chicago police showed up, they slowly got back in their car and drove away.

"First I heard the brakes and then I saw the girl get hit and kind of, you know, go up in the air," witness Deanna Ortiz said.

The two Chicago women are still trying to make sense of what played out in front of them Tuesday evening in the city's Lake View neighborhood.

"Just seeing that human impact was just so horrible," witness Paula Skaggs said.

"Then the next thing, she was on the ground," Ortiz added.

RELATED | Lakeview hit-and-run leaves woman, 21, seriously injured

Deanna Ortiz and Paula Skaggs were on their way to finish errands Tuesday around 5:30 p.m. As they were stopped at Addison and Janssen, they saw the driver of a white Hyundai Elantra hit a 21-year-old woman crossing the street.

"Neither one of us could believe what had happened," Skaggs said.

"It was traumatizing," Ortiz added.

The two women said the driver stopped, got out of her car with another man and tried to help the victim alongside several other witnesses.

Skaggs and Ortiz called 911 for help, but as soon as police arrived, they said the driver and man made their way back to their car

"I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt, like, they're just pulling over," Ortiz said.

With so many people trying to help the young woman amidst the chaos, Skaggs and Ortiz said what happened next was far from expected.

"When they were starting to drive away, they even drove away so slowly that Deanna and I were like, they can't be leaving," Skaggs said.

"Seeing they actually had left, you just don't believe it," Ortiz said.

Skaggs and Ortiz said the pair drove away so slowly that multiple witnesses were able to write down their license plate and report it to police.

When asked for an update, Chicago police said no one is in custody.
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