Updated 06/02/14 – 11:09 a.m.
FOREST PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A cyclist was killed overnight in a hit-and-run crash in west suburban Forest Park.
The victim was heading south on Harlem Avenue around 11 p.m. Sunday, when a car struck him from behind, and kept going. Eyewitness Stephen Lewis said a silver sedan was speeding when it hit the cyclist from behind.
“He had to be going 45 (mph) or better when he hit that guy. He hit him pretty hard,” Lewis said.
Police have identified the victim as 40-year-old Jeffery Schultz of Forest Park, who lived around the corner from where he was killed.
Trevor Caswell, friend and tenant who lives upstairs from Schultz, said Schultz worked as an architect for OfficeMax, and also spun records as a DJ. Schultz rode his bike everywhere, because he did not own a car.
Caswell said he and Schultz knew each other for about a year. He said Schultz had a bright personality, and tended to a garden in their back yard.
“Jeff was such a great guy,” he said. “Rode his bike everywhere. He was always riding around town, and just a bright person to be around.”
Schultz landed on the sidewalk in front of Beverly Wilcher’s garden apartment. She said the sound of the crash was so loud, she thought two cars had collided.
“I don’t understand how another human can kill someone so tragically, and leave,” she said. “Someone’s life was taken. That’s someone’s son. That’s someone’s possible father or husband, and he’s gone. There’s no words to describe someone doing something so tragic; and I really, really, really pray that whoever did it either come forth, or someone who knows them reports them.”
Lewis said Schultz was not wearing dark clothing, and the street lights were on, so he was fairly visible.
“It shouldn’t have happened,” he said. “I don’t know whether he was trying to get away from someone, or he was chasing them, or maybe he was under the influence of some kind of substance, but this didn’t have to be. I mean, this guy he was on his way, minding his own business, and for him to have his life taken like that, it’s just really uncalled for. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Lewis said he sat by Schultz until police and paramedics arrived, but the victim was unresponsive from the start. Schultz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the car was found in nearby Berwyn, but the driver was gone. Police said they were following some very strong leads in the case, and hoped to make an arrest soon.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run should call Forest Park police at 708-366-2425.