Woman killed by car in front of CDM building


Rebecca Meluch

Eugene Jarvis and his wife, Sasha Gerritson, have given DePaul University its largest donation in school history to benefit the College of Computing and Digital Media.

In the evening of May 28, a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle on the block of East Jackson Boulevard and South Wabash Avenue, in the crosswalk between DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) and the 7-Eleven. 

The Chicago Tribune reported that the suspect was driving northbound on South Wabash Avenue when they hit the pedestrian. South Wabash Avenue is a one-way southbound street and the driver was driving in the wrong direction, according to the Tribune. 

The victim, a 55-year-old woman, was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced dead. 

The suspect attempted to flee the scene, according to Chicago police.

Jessica Rocco, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department, shared a news release regarding the incident with The DePaulia. 

30 May 21 – Offender Charged With Reckless Homicide_Jamaal Huffman (1) by DePaulia on Scribd

The document says the driver was arrested in the 200 block of South Wabash around 5:30 p.m. after being positively identified as the person who fatally struck the pedestrian with his vehicle. He has since been placed in custody and charged with reckless homicide with a motor vehicle.

The document states that there is no additional information available at this time. 

Alejandra Trigoso is a graduate student at DePaul and a member of the DePaul Animation Lodge Facebook group. She posted about the incident around 5:38 p.m. and was outside of the CDM Building, located at 243 S. Wabash Ave., shortly after the accident.

At the time she stepped outside, police and ambulance already blocked off the area. 

A woman was just struck by a car in front of cdm and killed,” Trigoso’s post read. “The driver drove away without stopping. I happened to be outside right after it happened so I didn’t see everything and don’t know if it was someone from our community/don’t have all the details.” 

Trigoso told The DePaulia she was at the CDM building because she was trying to finish a film in time for an animation festival. 

“I came downstairs to grab a coffee and saw all of the security staff and some others crowded around the door, with like five or six bystanders around the entrance (sic),” Trigoso said. 

Trigoso also said she asked one of the DePaul Public Safety officers what had happened, in which the officer shared she didn’t see the accident herself, but another officer witnessed it.

“I think everything took place so quickly that no one could have done anything honestly,” Trigoso said. “I didn’t see security doing anything directly other than helping the police but I also wasn’t there for the whole ordeal. As far as I could see they were doing everything they could. ” 

Trigoso commented under the original post saying that when she left the CDM building, witnesses were being interviewed in the computer lab in the lobby. 

At the time of publication, DePaul has not included this incident in crime reports or issued a public safety alert to its students. 

Under the Clery Act, all colleges and universities that participate in all federal financial aid programs are required to disclose timely information and alerts about crimes that take place on respected campuses. 

DePaul’s Crime Reporting and Clery Act Compliance policy states that decisions whether to issue a timely warning or not, are decided on a case-by-case basis by DePaul Public Safety. 

Crime Reporting and Clery Act Compliance by DePaulia on Scribd

According to Trigoso, DePaul Public Safety officers were aware of the incident as she observed that they were among those crowded around the door after. 

The policy states that “The Public Safety Office will post timely warning notices to notify members of the community about serious crimes against people that occur on or adjacent to our campus, where prior knowledge of that serious crime would aid others in not becoming the victim of a similar case. These warnings will be posted if the incident is reported to the Public Safety office.” 

Rocco said CPD did not have any information regarding whether DePaul Public Safety was involved or cooperative in the incident in any way and suggested reaching out to DePaul’s Public Safety Office. 

“The car accident in the Loop on Friday evening did not meet Clery Act campus reporting guidelines because it was an isolated incident and it did not pose an ongoing threat to the community,” the Office of Public Safety responded. 

The Office of Public Safety also referred to the section of DePaul’s annual Safety and Security Information Report, “Timely Warning Safety Alerts.”  

Kristen Mathews, a spokesperson for the university, shared more information about support for students after the incident, “University Counseling Services are available for those who may have witnessed the event and may want to process further,” Mathews said. “If students are in distress and need to have some academic flexibility they are encouraged to speak with their instructors and/or connect with the Dean of Students office.”