Caught on Camera: SUV Hits Man, Drives Off

Driver of SUV apparently used gas station to make a U-turn, struck man on the street

By Kim Vatis
|  Thursday, Nov 11, 2010  |  Updated 5:06 PM CDT
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A red SUV cutting through the driveway of a Marathon gas station on the city's South Side to avoid a red light struck a man on the street and drove away.

A red SUV cutting through the driveway of a Marathon gas station on the city's South Side to avoid a red light struck a man on the street and drove away.

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Jose Roldan Arroya is resting in bed and barely mobile after being hit by a red SUV on the city's South Side Monday night.  The driver never stopped.

"The truck comes and pushes him and he flips in the air," said family friend Sandra Gonzalez, who translated for Arroya.

Police on Thursday sent out a community alert as they look for a driver of the SUV.  The vehicle was captured on the surveillance video of a Marathon gas station at 63rd and California.  

Authorities initially thought the driver cut through the gas station to avoid a red light but later said it appeared the driver was instead trying to make a quick U-turn.  Nevertheless, it turned out to be a mistake just as dangerous.

Arroya was struck on the street as he was getting into his minivan.  His wife was already in the minivan and witnessed everything.

"He's mad," said Gonzalez of the SUV's driver.  "The person who did this needed to stop and see what happened to him."

The gas station's surveillance video is now in the hands of Chicago police investigators.  No one is in custody.  The SUV appears to be an older-model Ford Explorer, but police have yet to confirm the make, model or license plate number.

"I feel really sorry for the family.  They come in.  They're customers," said Marathon clerk Keisha Albarki.  "Hopefully, they'll catch someone."

A wheelchair-bound man who lives in the area said people are always speeding through the area.  He said he's had many near misses.
 
"It’s dangerous up here, everyone’s in a rush," said Frederick Brantley.

Arroyo, who has three children with his wife, said his biggest concern now is his job.  He's a mechanic during the day and office cleaner at night.  He said he hasn’t been able to work all week.

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