CHICAGO (CBS) — A memorial service was held Thursday morning for a Cook County Sheriff’s deputy killed by a hit-and-run driver as she was crossing the street to go to work exactly one year ago.
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports the service was held along the 2900 block of South California Avenue, outside of Division 10 of the Cook County Jail, where Correctional Officer Nikki Bostic-Jones worked, and where she was killed last year.
Bostic-Jones was on her way to work at the jail, when a van hit her as she was crossing California, then fled the scene.
Colleagues, friends, and relatives released balloons as bagpipes played outside the jail on Thursday.
Assistant Jail Director Paris Williams addressed the family.
“We are right here for you,” he said. “We’ll never leave you, nor have we forgotten about you.”
He said, as the balloons released during the memorial clustered together in the air, “it makes me think about how much Nikki always tried to keep all of us together, through her words, or through her smile.”
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart called Bostic-Williams “a special person.
“When she was killed, we had such an outpouring then, but I’ll be honest with you, a year later the memories are still as vivid. People still talk about her as if she was just here yesterday,” Dart said. “In a place as big as ours, where you have almost 8,000 employees, she touched so many people, it’s absolutely amazing; including detainees who still talk about her.”
Bostic-Williams’ sister, Tamara Bostic, said she still hears from inmates from time to time.
“It impacts a whole lot of people. Not just the family, not just the friends, it’s everybody,” she said.
She said the memorial meant a lot to the family.
“My sister was so sweet, and kind-hearted. It wasn’t a day that you caught her not smiling,” Bostic said.
A Chicago man was arrested and charged with running over Bostic-Jones. Juan Bello, now 58, was charged with reckless homicide and leaving the scene of an accident involving a death. He also was ticketed for failing to yield to a pedestrian, driving on a revoked license and driving too fast for conditions.
He remained in custody as of Thursday, held on $3 million bail.