CHICAGO (CBS) — A driver hit and killed a dog on a leash and kept going in the Roscoe Village neighborhood recently.
Residents tell CBS 2’s Tara Molina it is the most recent example of the distracted and dangerous driving they see every day. On Tuesday night, they were calling for changes on their streets.
At the crosswalk at Wellington Avenue and Honore Street, Jonathan Leaf was crossing the street with his dog on a leash right behind him.
He said he could feel something when a car drove past his without fully stopping – and he turned around, realizing that the car did more than a rolling stop.
Leaf picked up his dog, May, and ran to the veterinarian right away.
“She was on the ground – obviously stunned,” he said. “By the time I got to the vet, she had already passed away.”
His young family was devastated.
“Now we have our 7-week-old son, Waylan. We considered May his older sister. Finally had our little nucleus – the family,” Leaf said. “And, you know, here’s some tragedy.”
It’s a tragedy that Leaf says could have easily been avoided, had the driver paid attention and followed the rules of the road.
Leaf told us one of the other drivers who saw it happen, followed the car and reported the plate to police.
“The driver was open about being in this area, likely in this area that time of day; claimed ignorance to the fact that they had seen a dog, let alone hit a dog,” Leaf said.
They never heard from the driver. But the Leaf family wants more than an apology.
“We just want this to be a force for change,” Leaf said.
And they have a neighborhood backing them up. Neighbors told CBS 2 that drivers use side streets to cut through – often speeding and ignoring the signs.
“About 50 percent of the time, people don’t stop, or even pause,” said Clay Schultz. “Your life could change in an instant as a result of you not stopping.”
The hope Tuesday night was that something would be done to prevent the preventable.
“It was a dog now,” Leaf said. “At what point is it something well beyond that, and we’re in a bit of a crisis?”
CBS 2 is told the Leaf family and several others have reached out to their alderman about making these streets safer. We have contacted the alderman’s office about what is being done about these concerns, and we will be updating this story when we hear back.