By Lauren Victory


Chicago (CBS) — Joanna Berman holds an old picture of her big brother. The two made it out of Latvia and to the United States decades ago.

RELATED Police Searching For Driver In Morton Grove Hit-And-Run That Killed 86-Year-Old Man

“I was 18 and he was 25,” Berman said. “He was my protector.”

But Leonid Belogur didn’t make it Friday night.

Someone driving struck him as he crossed Shermer Road in Morton Grove around 5 p.m.

His fiancee told CBS 2 he was out for his nightly walk and that the accident happened about 10 minutes from their home.

She and his sister can’t believe a hit-and-run is what ended Leo’s life.

In recent years, you could find the 86-year-old skiing and running marathons.

“He looked young. He felt young,” Berman said. “If somebody saw something, if somebody heard something, please contact the police.”

It’s hardly the only time a family’s had to make that plea for an accident on the same road.

Almost four years ago to the day, a hit-and-run driver killed another 86-year-old walking on Shermer Road and Harlem Avenue.

At Shermer and Beckwith, neighbors said a series of crashes led the village to install special flashing stop signs and solar-powered speed limit readers.

Back at Shermer and Greenwood, the Grasses are reminded of last night’s tragedy and fear more.

“Right here at this corner, probably every day, we see near misses,” Curt Grass said.

Shermer doesn’t have stop signs, and people crossing might not notice, explains Curt Grass, who happens to be a civil engineer with a specialty in traffic problems.

“Lighting is a little bit of an issue,” Grass said. “We only have the one street light on the corner here, and it’s just a busy road. A lot of people use it as a cut through street because it runs on an angle.”

As Belogur’s loved ones beg for information in his death, they also hope Morton Grove finds a fix for Shermer Road, so no one else is hurt.

The victim’s family is offering a $10,000 reward to find the person who killed Belogur and took off.

CBS 2 reached out to members of Morton Grove’s traffic safety commission and the village president but has not heard back.

Lauren Victory