SOUTH CHICAGO HEIGHTS, Ill. (STMW) – A pedestrian died early Saturday when he was struck by a car in south suburban South Chicago Heights.

Vincent Mendez was walking on the shoulder of the road at 342 E. Sauk Trail when an eastbound 1999 Ford Escort hit him at 2:43 a.m., according to South Chicago Heights Dpty. Chief Tim Wehrle. The man driving the Escort stopped.

Mendez, 59, was pronounced dead on the scene at 2:50 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

“We don’t know if he fell into the roadway and got hit,’’ or the car veered off the road, according to the deputy chief.

Alcohol has been ruled out, but tests are still being done to determine if drugs or speeding could have been factors.

The motorist and his two passengers were not hurt, said Wehrle.

While Wehrle said Mendez lived in the 1700 block of East 223rd St. in Sauk Village, the medical examiner’s office said he lived in the 3300 block of Commercial Ave. in South Chicago Heights.

The wreck occurred in an area that is not well lit, and only has a few businesses such as a strip mall nearby, said the deputy chief. The speed limit is 45 mph and Sauk Trail is a four-lane highway that was “a little wet’’ at the time of the crash, the deputy chief said.

No citations have been issued as of 915 a.m. Saturday.

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