Wheaton mother pleads with public for more information about hit-and-run-crash that killed daughter

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Suburban mom asks public for help after daughter killed in hit-and-run
The Wheaton, Illinois police department is asking the public for more information about a hit-run-crash that killed Paige Donahue.

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- A hit-and-run victim's family is turning to the public for more information about her death.

Paige Donahue of west-suburban Wheaton was struck and killed by a vehicle on Roosevelt Road near Crest Street home just after 8 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2023, according to the Wheaton Police Department.

Traci Palucci, Donahue's mother, made an emotional plea through a video released by the Wheaton Police Department, urging people with information to come forward.

"In my daughter's name, in Paige Donahue's name, please make her tragedy come with positivity," Palucci said. "I haven't had sleep in so long, but I don't care. I just want - there's nothing I can do to change any of this."

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Palucci described Donahue as a happy person who loved to sing and dance as if no one was watching. Donahue was supposed to be married in May.

The night she died, just two weeks before her birthday, the 31-year-old was wearing a bright pink jacket and was walking home after leaving a nearby 7-11, police said. Police released video of her at the store.

According to the Wheaton Police Department, numerous 911 calls were made by passing motorists that night, describing a woman laying in the road. Good Samaritans stopped to render aid, and Wheaton police and fire departments arrived on the scene.

"Where exactly she was struck, we can't tell for certain. However, she was found between the two eastbound lanes," Wheaton Police Chief Princeton Youker. "I'm hoping somebody is going to think back to Jan. 2, day after New Year's Day, and somebody brings forward information that will help us move this case forward."

Donahue was transported to the hospital, but died of her injuries. Relatives said Donahue had epilepsy and was unable to drive, which is why she was walking.

Donahue was active in fundraising and was a fierce advocate for her community of "Epilepsy Warriors."

"They left her in the street like she was an animal. We don't know if she was suffering. We don't know if - nobody knows. Was she laying there? Did she need something? Was she in pain?" Palucci said. "What if she needed me? What if she wanted me because she was so scared?"

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The driver in the hit-and-run did not stop, try to help Donahue, or call the police, the Wheaton Police Department said.

Palucci hopes that the driver or people who know more about the night of the incident will come forward.

"There's a void in our family. Every picture from now on is not everybody, it's not everybody," Palucci said. "It rips my guts. My life will never be the same. Never. My family will never be whole. Never.

Palucci has a message for the driver who killed her.

"Please, please do the right thing. I mean, if you don't come forward, you've got to live with this. Hopefully, you have a conscience," Palucci said.

Anyone with any information about this incident should contact the Wheaton Police Department at 630-260-2199 or tips@wheaton.il.us. Anonymous tips can be shared at 1-800-222-8477.