Updated 10/10/12 – 4:34 p.m.
ZION (CBS) — Zion police were trying to find out who struck and killed a pedestrian on a residential street early Wednesday morning and simply drove away.
Residents told CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley the victim’s injuries were a horrifying sight.
The crash happened before dawn. Around 5:15 a.m., the body of a 20-year-old man was found near the intersection of 33rd Street and Geneva Lane in Zion.
Melissa Mitchell was driving her kids to school in a car pool at the time.
“When I looked over here, there was a body in the street,” she said. “It made me sick to my stomach.”
Police said the victim’s injuries were severe and traumatic.
The speed limit at that location is 35 miles per hour, but police said they believe the driver responsible was going much faster.
Zion Police Chief Wayne Brooks said police “certainly don’t know the speed, but it was fairly significant. … It could easily have been more [than 35 mph]. It was some real, real horrific injuries.”
Police said the victim was walking in the street when he was struck, but what police don’t know is whether the driver crossed over the center line, or if he was travelling the same side of the road as the victim.
Investigators have not yet determined where the victim was heading at the time, but the body was found near a popular jogging path.
George Bellegante has walked it for 50 years.
He said the traffic along that road “goes by fast, it does sometimes. Last year, I about saw a guy get hit one time on a bicycle going across here. He had to dodge a car.”
The Lake County Coroner’s Office conducted an autopsy on Wednesday, but hasn’t released the name of the victim.
Zion police said they have recovered parts of the car involved in the crash, but they also want to hear from anyone who might have seen the car leaving the area.