SUV Flees After Fatally Striking 18-Year-Old Woman
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Updated 7/24/11 6:00 p.m.
LAKE ZURICH, Ill. (CBS) – An 18-year-old Lake Zurich woman was fatally injured in a hit-and-run incident Friday night that also injured two teens.
Gabby Drozdz died after she was struck by an SUV on Church Street at about 9:15 p.m.
Drozdz and two companions had been walking southbound on the shoulder of the street, Lake Zurich police said in a news release. The companions, female teens aged 16 and 18, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, police said.
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Drozdz graduated early in January and was preparing to attend junior college to begin nursing classes, her brother-in-law, Justin Gregory, told CBS 2.
About 50 friends gathered Sunday at the crash scene, and pleaded for the public’s help.
Rosie and Vanessa Fitts made photo t-shirts. The teens were together, walking about four feet off the roadway when the SUV with no headlights on, struck all three.
Rosie Fitts, 16, recalled feeling helpless, and told Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore she saw the bodies of Vanessa and Gaby thrown in the air, and did not know what to do. Fitts said the SUV did not stop, did not even hesitate. It just kept going.
Vanessa Fitts, 18, felt anger. She said the driver just took off, leaving them to die as if their lives meant nothing.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore Reports
The vehicle that struck the pedestrians is described as a newer model white or light-colored SUV. Police say it could have damage from the impact, including broken lights. Lake Zurich Police Chief Patrick Finlon asked body shops to watch out for it. He’s also pleading with the driver to step forward, saying if that happens within the next 12 hours, the driver will face less serious charges.
Asked why there are no headlights on Church Street, which is a busy thoroughfare through Lake Zurich and right in front of the high school, Chief Finlon said Church street is regulated by the state, and the local municipality does not govern whether it gets any improvements. He did note there is a sidewalk on the other side of the street, from where the girls were hit.
Police are taking information about the case at (847) 438-2349.
Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore contributed to this report.