Vigil held for man, 34, killed in Avondale hit-and-run

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Family and friends gathered Monday evening to remember a man who was killed in a hit-and-run accident on the Northwest Side.

Chris Sanchez, 34, was crossing the street at Belmont and Milwaukee in Avondale around 5:20 a.m. Sunday when a white SUV struck him and left the scene. He was transported to Illinois Masonic Hospital in critical condition where he later died, his family said.

Loved ones remembered him as a compassionate, generous man who didn't hesitate to help others. They said he was known to take long walks at night to clear his head following the recent death of his mother.

"Yeah he was just walking home. He had promised his Dad he'd be up early with him and go to the cemetery," said Maria Cartage, Sanchez's cousin.

But Sanchez never made it home to meet his Dad Sunday morning.

"I'm really in shock this happened to him. He didn't deserve to die that way," said Ralph Martinez, Sanchez's former colleague and friend.

Martinez used to work with Sanchez at a car dealership in Irving Park. He says the young man was a dedicated parts and service employee and one of the kindest people he'd ever met.

"Such a good soul - his customers loved him!" said Martinez.

"Chris was all about helping other people, and always first to reach into his pocket to help other people," said Cartage.

On Monday, balloons, flowers and candles mark the exact place Sanchez was struck.

There are several surveillance cameras facing the intersection, but police have not released video from any of them.

Sanchez's family members said they are now spreading the word about his death in hopes that someone will come forward with information about the driver.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the driver. And the family says an anonymous donor is offering an additional reward.
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avondalehit and run
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