Chicago Sun-Times

Man charged in hit-and-run that killed boy, 13, who was rid­ing his bike

- BY SAM CHARLES AND EM­MANUEL CAMARILLO Sam Charles is a Sun-Times Staff Re­porter. Em­manuel Camarillo is a CST Wire Re­porter. Crime · Incidents · Chicago Police Department · Printer's Row, Chicago, IL · United States Department of Transportation · Lawndale, IL · Ashburn

The last 48 hours were a nightmare for Itzel Dirzo.

On Sun­day evening, her only son, 13-year-old Isaac Martinez, was rid­ing his bike — his first bike — when he was fa­tally struck by a ve­hi­cle in the 8300 block of South Lawn­dale in the Ash­burn neigh­bor­hood.

Two days later, dozens of fam­ily mem­bers, friends and mem­bers of Chicago’s cy­cling com­mu­nity gath­ered Tues­day near where Isaac was killed to mourn his death and call for greater pro­tec­tions for cy­clists.

“I want jus­tice for my son. He didn’t de­serve to die like that,” Dirzo said through tears, adding that her son was “a very good kid” who just wanted to ride his bike, play bas­ket­ball and hang out with his cousins.

Mo­ments later, a re­porter told Dirzo that charges had been ap­proved against the driver who al­legedly killed her son.

“Thank you, God. Thank you,” she said. “Now I’m in peace.”

Os­car Martinez Guer­rero, 40, was charged with felony counts of leav­ing the scene of an ac­ci­dent that re­sulted in in­jury or death and fail­ure to re­port an ac­ci­dent that re­sulted in in­jury or death, ac­cord­ing to the Chicago Po­lice De­part­ment.

He also faces mis­de­meanor counts of fail­ing to give in­for­ma­tion and/or ren­der aid af­ter a col­li­sion and op­er­at­ing an unin­sured ve­hi­cle, ac­cord­ing to the CPD. Guer­rero also was cited for fail­ure to re­duce speed, not yield­ing to a pedes­trian in the road­way and fail­ing to give no­tice of an ac­ci­dent.

Isaac was struck around 6:50 p.m. Sun­day, and po­lice lo­cated and ar­rested Guer­rero, who they said was driv­ing a work van, a few blocks away in the 3600 block of West 85th Place.

Ald. Der­rick Cur­tis (18th) cred­ited a neigh­bor who re­al­ized the li­cense plate had fallen off dur­ing the col­li­sion and re­ported it to po­lice.

About 20 cy­clists rode to 83rd and Lawn­dale from the West Loop to lend sup­port to Isaac’s fam­ily.

“Isaac was fol­low­ing the laws. He was re­quired to be bik­ing in the street,” said Christina White­house of Bike Lane Up­ris­ing. “As one com­mu­nity of cy­clists, we felt it was very im­por­tant to come out and be here with the fam­ily, with the com­mu­nity. We are one com­mu­nity of cy­clists, and it could have been any one of us.”

Cur­tis said he was in touch with the city’s De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion ear­lier in the day. While the stretch of Lawn­dale where Isaac was killed is a des­ig­nated bike route, Cur­tis said, there are no pro­tected bike lanes and lo­cal driv­ers of­ten flaunt traf­fic signs and sig­nals. He sug­gested adding ex­tra sig­nage and pos­si­bly more traf­fic con­trols to the area to force driv­ers to slow down.

 ?? TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES ?? Evelina Rabadan (left), the aunt of Isaac Martinez, and Leti­cia Bello, the boy’s grand­mother, com­fort each other at a vigil Tues­day for the 13-year-old, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash, po­lice said.
TYLER LARIVIERE/SUN-TIMES Evelina Rabadan (left), the aunt of Isaac Martinez, and Leti­cia Bello, the boy’s grand­mother, com­fort each other at a vigil Tues­day for the 13-year-old, who was killed in a hit-and-run crash, po­lice said.
 ?? CPD, PRO­VIDED ?? Os­car Martinez Guer­rero (left) is fac­ing mul­ti­ple charges in con­nec­tion with a crash that killed Isaac Martinez.
CPD, PRO­VIDED Os­car Martinez Guer­rero (left) is fac­ing mul­ti­ple charges in con­nec­tion with a crash that killed Isaac Martinez.
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