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Charges Pending Against Bus Driver Who Hit, Killed Woman

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Streeterville Fatal Bus Accident

Justyna Palka, 26, was killed when this coach bus hit her in Streeterville Tuesday evening. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Charges are pending against the driver of a private coach bus, which struck and killed a woman in the Streeterville neighborhood Tuesday night.

The bus struck the woman — identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as Justyna M. Palka – shortly before 7 p.m. at Illinois Street and Columbus Drive, police News Affairs officer Daniel O’Brien said.

The bus was turning onto Columbus Drive at the time.

Palka apparently had the right of way when she was struck by the tour bus, a source said. The driver told investigators he heard a bump, which he thought was a curb, but then stopped the bus, got out and discovered the woman after he heard a second bump, the source said.

There were witnesses to the crash, a source said, but it was not immediately known if anyone was inside the tour bus during the incident.

Palka was taken to nearby Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition. She was pronounced dead at the hospital at 7:04 p.m.

Palka, 26, lived in the 400 block of North McClurg Court, only a little over a block from the crash site.

The bus driver was also taken to Northwestern hospital with unidentified injuries, Near North District police Capt. Jerome Fluder said.

The Linkedin profile for Palka identified her as an graphic designer/art director at Ogilvy & Mather who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

She is a former art assistant at Chicago Magazine, a creative intern at Ogilvy & Mather and a graphic design assistant at Bockos Design, Inc., according to the profile.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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