River North hit-and-run: Lawsuit filed against driver charged after mother dragged to death while celebrating daughter in Chicago

Woman was in town celebrating one daughter's baby shower and another's birthday

Michelle Gallardo Image
Wednesday, August 26, 2020
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The daughter of a woman who was dragged to death in a hit-and-run in River North spoke out Wednesday as the family's attorneys filed a lawsuit against the driver.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Its been just over two weeks since a 55-year-old woman was killed and her 20-year-old daughter was injured after they were struck by a hit-and-run driver in River North.

Walking with the help of a cane and her arm still in a cast Wednesday, 20-year-old Shannon Ryan spoke in honor of her mother Zoraleigh.

"Mommy didn't have a bad bone in her body. She put everybody before herself. I want everybody to know that. She was the most amazing woman I've ever met," Ryan said.

The driver allegedly struck the pair on the Near North Side while making a U-turn, only to drive around the block and strike the mother again, dragging her to her death for a half block, according to police.

WATCH: Witness says hit-and-run driver struck woman twice, killing her

With her father by her side, Ryan made her first appearance since the Aug. 10 incident as attorneys representing the 55-year-old woman's family filed a civil lawsuit on their behalf.

The driver, 25-year-old Edgar Roman of Albany Park, has been charged with murder and attempted murder, according to prosecutors. Taking place on the same night looters once again descended on Chicago's downtown, prosecutors say Roman intentionally struck both the mother and daughter as they crossed the street at Hubbard and State. The older woman was killed after she was struck a second time, but Ryan was pulled away from the driver's path by a Good Samaritan who had rushed over to help.

A Chicago man, 25-year-old Edgar Roman, faces multiple charges after striking two people Tuesday in a fatal hit-and-run in River North.

"I did give my testimony to the Chicago police. Everything is in a blur," Ryan said.

Originally from the Chicago area, Zoraleigh Ryan and her family moved to Arizona six years ago. They were in town to celebrate an older daughter's baby shower.

The deadly incident happened as they were treating themselves to a weekend at the W hotel and dinner at Chicago Cut to commemorate Shannon's 20th birthday. They had just left the restaurant when they were struck.

"We were talking about a million things at once. I'm really thankful I was able to have such an amazing conversation," Ryan said. "She was everything you could ask for. She was my best friend. Especially just being together, everything that's going on. We were together 24/7."

Prosecutors say Roman admits to having struck both the mother and daughter, and it is believed that there is surveillance video of the incident, which the family hopes to be able to procure as part of the civil lawsuit.