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Father Of Drowned Model Sues City Over River Dropoff

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Irma Sabanovic (Chicago Police Department)

Irma Sabanovic (Chicago Police Department)

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CHICAGO (STMW) — The father of a North Side woman found drowned inside a car in the North Branch of the Chicago River filed a wrongful death suit against the city Thursday.

Irma Sabanovic, 25, left her Rogers Park home where she lived with her father, Fehim Sabanovic, May 12 with the intention of going to a nightclub at West North and North Elston avenues, but she got lost, according to a May 16 missing persons alert from Belmont Area detectives.

About 2 a.m. that night, she texted a male friend that she was lost near North Milwaukee Avenue and West Erie Street. That was the last communication from Sabanovic, the alert said.

Friends and family of the woman, a Bosnian immigrant who was a full-time college student and model, had papered the area with missing person flyers, making appeals at major intersections and online through a Facebook page created to help find the missing woman.

Fehim Sabanovic claims that his daughter was driving a vehicle westbound on the 1100 block of West Blackhawk Street, which terminates at the Chicago River, when her vehicle left the road and plunged into the river May 12, according to a suit filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

Cranes were used last Saturday to pull a blue Ford Focus out of the river near North Elston Avenue and West Blackhawk Street, Shakespeare District Police Lt. Michael Mulkerin said.

Sabanovic, of 1950 W. Hood Ave., was dead on the scene last Saturday inside the submerged car, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The suit claims the city of Chicago negligently allowed barricades or traffic control devices near the accident site to fall into disrepair and failed to inspect the area, according to the suit. The city also failed to warn Sabanovic of the dangerous condition of the land, roadways, barricades, curbs and sidewalks.

The two-count wrongful death suit seeks unspecified damages and court costs.

A spokesperson for the city’s legal department was not immediately available for comment.

City crews on Monday put up blockades at the dropoff where Sabanovic’s car went into the water.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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