Woman Killed by Bus "Absolutely Loved Chicago"

Donna Halstead lived downtown, rubbed shoulders with some of Illinois' most powerful political players

By Marion Brooks and Mitchell Grogg
|  Thursday, Aug 9, 2012  |  Updated 1:14 AM CDT
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Donna Halstead, 76, was hit from behind near the intersection of West Adams and South Canal as she headed home. Marion Brooks spoke with her sister.

Donna Halstead, 76, was hit from behind near the intersection of West Adams and South Canal as she headed home. Marion Brooks spoke with her sister.

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The woman who died Tuesday evening after being struck by a Megabus coach is being remembered as a loving matriarch and an irreplaceable woman.

"She worked hard all of her life and made sure everybody else did too," Donna Halstead's sister, Kathy Sufak, said Wednesday evening during a telephone conversation with NBC Chicago.

Halstead, 76, was hit from behind near the intersection of West Adams and South Canal as she headed home.

"She loved Chicago; absolutely loved Chicago," said Sufak. "That's why she lived downtown."

Halstead was also well-connected in the city she loved, working well into her later years. She worked for former Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Ann McMorrow until around age 70.

"She raised her kids and then went to school and became a paralegal, and she was the assistant to Chief Justice McMorrow on the Illinois Supreme Court, and retired in 2006 when Justice McMorrow retired," Sufak said.

She was also active in the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the Art Institute of Chicago, Sufak said.

Halstead leaves behind a son and a daughter and four grandchildren. Sufak noted that coming holidays will be different, saying the death will leave a "terrible terrible void this year."

Halstead's longtime friend, Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) plans to call on authorities to investigate the Megabus company, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Another Megabus coach caught fire Wednesday in Georgia, according to NBC affiliate WYFF. Dispatchers have postulated that a blown tire may have caused the fire, WYFF reported.

A fatal crash last week involving a Megabus coach has also been initially blamed on a tire blowout.

The company on Wednesday also agreed to pay a $5 million settlement to the family of a man killed in a 2010 crash.

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