A 78-year-old Asian man has died after being hit by a van in Chicago’s Chinatown more than a week ago.
Guo Ning Li, a Chinese immigrant, was shopping for groceries when a Ford van struck him near Wentworth Avenue and 24th Street at around 11:30 a.m. on March 19. He was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he later died of head injuries.
A witness driving west on 24th before stopping on Wentworth told police how the fatal incident unfolded, according to Streetsblog Chicago.
The witness said the eastbound Ford van driver, a 64-year-old man, was halted at a stop sign on the other side of Wentworth. He then turned left to head north.
As the witness waited for the van driver to complete his turn, Li, who lived just a mile away, emerged on the crosswalk and was “slowly struck.” The senior fell to the ground.
The witness attempted to talk to Li, who was breathing but unresponsive. Neither he nor the van driver spoke much English, according to a crash report.
An autopsy reportedly declared that Li died of craniocerebral injuries with hypertensive cardiovascular disease as a contributing factor.
He is survived by his wife, Cailian Yu, and their daughter, Cindy Wong.
Wong organized a GoFundMe campaign for her father, who took care of her half-paralyzed mother.
“My mother, Cailian Yu, didn’t only lose her loving husband but her main caretaker. She is devastated,” Wong wrote. “Adding to this burden is the cost of burial and funeral expenses.”
Wong said her father worked as a well-regarded teacher in China. When Li immigrated to the U.S., he became a caretaker for elderly people.
This job was in stark contrast to what he did as a teacher, but he embraced this job and worked hard to care for his clients. He eagerly took up extra shifts when no one else wanted them. He was praised for his compassion and kindness under his care. My father would not have wanted to leave my mom this way. He would have wanted my mom to be taken care of, just like his clients.
The van driver, who lived much closer to the crash site — about half a mile — was cited for failure to exercise due care to a pedestrian and driving an uninsured vehicle, as per Streetsblog Chicago.
He reportedly insisted to police that he stopped but refused to answer other questions.
The van driver is scheduled to appear in court on May 22.