Police are investigating after a man was found dead and next to a dog on the side of a road early Saturday in Gurnee in an apparent hit-and-run accident.
Around 3:45 a.m., police responded to a report of a man down in the roadway in the area of the southbound entrance ramp from Washington Street to Route 41, according to the Gurnee Police Department.
Responding officers found the man unresponsive lying next to an injured dog, police said. Gurnee Firemedics tended to the victim but could find no signs of life, authorities said.
He was later identified as 31-year-old Timothy Fleming, of the 100 block of Waveland Avenue, officials said.
Police believe Fleming and the dog were struck by a car between 3:30 a.m. and 3:44 a.m., but no vehicles were found at or near the scene.
"You don't think you're going to lose your brother like this or at all," said Fleming's sister Brittany Fleming. "He had so many plans and now they're gone."
Preliminary investigations suggest Fleming was attempting to retrieve the dog, a black lab named Jordynn, after it got away from him.
"He didn't think about how foggy it was this morning, he didn't think about the cars not being able to see him," said Fleming's cousin John Fleming. "He just wanted to protect the dog."
The dog was initially injured in the accident with two broken legs, officials said, but family said later it did not survive.
Police said a passerby saw the body near the ramp and called police.
"We have very little evidence to go on, which is why we're asking for the public's help on this one," said Commander William Meyer.
Police believe red light cameras in the area may provide more information on the accident, but are also hoping witnesses will come forward.
Anyone with information surrounding the incident is asked to call the Gurnee Police Department at (847) 599-7000.