CHICAGO (CBS) — As police searched for the driver in a deadly hit and run, friends and family of the 82-year old victim were mourning her death on Monday.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, Margaret Heffernan and her 78-year-old friend were struck by a pickup truck on Saturday in the 5700 block of West Lawrence Avenue. Heffernan died, her friend was critically injured.
Friends said they were heading across to the street to an appointment at a Lawrence Avenue hair salon when the truck hit them.
The truck was last seen heading north on the 4800 block of North Major Avenue.
A memorial has been erected near the spot where Heffernan and her friend were struck. Heffernan was a resident at St. Andrew Life Center in Niles. Those who knew her said she was very private and deeply religious.
“She didn’t deserve to go that way,” her friend Martha O’Connor said.
It’s heartbreaking for O’Connor to imagine the pain her friend suffered before passing away. The sight of the two elderly women lying in the street also took a toll on those who witnessed the accident.
“The woman on this side of the street was unresponsive and … no movement at all, and the other woman was on that side of the street she was in pain. She was moaning and crying. It was sad,” Christiana Sosa said.
Witnesses said the driver – who appeared to be in his 20s or 30s – just kept going, turning north on Major Avenue.
Several people called 911 and, according to police, the truck they’re looking for is a newer model black or dark blue Ford F-150. It had a spare tire on the rear passenger side, and a ladder in the truck bed.
Heffernan’s friends hope the driver will come forward so they can have some closure.
“You maybe made a mistake, come back and own up to it,” one woman said.
O’Connor said, “I believe Margaret would forgive them, but to know why they did it would be a comfort.”
For now, O’Connor has been turning to her faith for answers. She said it’s what Heffernan would’ve done.
“I know that she’s with God. I really believe that,” O’Connor said.
Saturday was also Heffernan’s 82nd birthday. Her friends were planning a celebration, but now that she’s passed away, they’re planning celebrate her life instead and give the birthday gifts they bought for her to other residents at St. Andrew’s.
As for the other woman who was hit, she was taken to the hospital in critical condition. She is not being identified at this time.