Chicago Police Still Searching For Hit-and-Run Driver Who Killed 11-Year-Old in Lawndale

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This year so far, 1,909 people in Chicago have been injured in hit-and-runs. Six of those people were killed.

One of them was an 11-year-old who was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Chicago's Lawndale neighborhood Thursday.

According to officials, Jalen James was crossing the street in the 3300 block of West 16th Street Thursday around 10:20 a.m. when he was struck and killed by a driver who didn't stop.

According to a police report, James was dragged by the car for half a block. The car stopped briefly, then sped away, according to police.

Police surveillance video shows an eastbound driver pass through a yellow light at Homan as Jalon and another person were crossing the street.

Jalon continued forward and was struck by the vehicle.

Officers found the wanted vehicle abandoned later that morning on another street in Lawndale, according to police. Someone had removed the vehicle’s license plates and had discarded a face mask, which police collected as evidence.

Police are still searching for the driver.

"The boy flew hard. He hit the boy at about 50 miles per hour. It happened in the blink of an eye," said witness David Little.

Paramedics took Jalon to a nearby hospital where he was pronounce dead, police said.

The fatal accident has some neighbors calling for lowered speed limits and stop signs, and one community activist asking for the driver and any witnesses to come forward.

A balloon launch is planned for 4 p.m. Friday at the scene of the accident.

A recent investigation from NBC 5 revealed that records show Chicago police are far more likely to stop investigating a hit-and-run crash altogether than they are to solve it, leaving victims in the dark even in cases with seemingly obvious clues.

According to city data obtained and analyzed by NBC 5 Investigates, Chicago sees an average of more than 100 hit-and-runs each day. Of the roughly 37,000 hit-and-run crashes the city saw in 2021, Chicago police made arrests in just 95 cases -- an arrest rate of 0.3% - just three arrests out of every 1,000 crashes.

The Chicago Sun-Times wire contributed to this story.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the Chicago Sun-Times wire, which originally included the make and model of the vehicle.

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