Edward Cruz allegedly was drunk when he fatally struck Amira Nairat just before 8 a.m. Monday as she was walking along Central near 107th. He was arrested several blocks away.
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Cruz faces the following charges: aggravated driving under the influence resulting in a death, hit and run involving a death and drunken driving, as well as other traffic violations including operating a motor vehicle with no insurance and failure to give information on a crash, failure to exercise due care to a pedestrian, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and improper lane usage.
Cruz had a previous charge for driving while intoxicated and was operating a vehicle with a valid license with a pending suspension of his driver's license with the Secretary of State, police said.
In a Facebook post, Richards principal Mike Jacobson said of Nairat: "Amira was a quiet but kind student. She was so dedicated to her studies and the happiness of her classmates. While she was just a freshman, her teachers spent the entire day reflecting on her achievements and the value she added to our school. The entire Bulldog community will feel this loss deeply."
Oak Lawn police said about 10 minutes before the fatal hit-and-run, the driver involved rear-ended another vehicle near 95th Street and Central. The driver kept going, crossed into oncoming traffic and side-swiped another vehicle near 97th Street, before getting involved in the incident near 107th. No one was hurt in the first two incidents, police said.
The night before the crash, Cruz was arrested in Merrionette Park for theft for reaching behind a bar to drink from bottles of alcohol. He was arrested and bonded out on 11:50 p.m. Sunday.
Anyone with information about Cruz's whereabouts prior to the crash are asked to call the Chicago Ridge Police Department.