Woman Killed, Family Hurt in Calumet City Hit-and-Run

Calumet City police search for driver who left scene

A Hammond, Ind., woman was killed Sunday night and her family injured in a hit-and-run crash in suburban Calumet City, police said.

Police said the Padilla family was driving along Torrence Avenue when a minivan, either beige or tan in color, slammed into them from behind, sending the car careening into the trees of the Cook County Forest Preserve.

It happened about a mile north of River Oaks Drive. Police said the hit-and-run driver sped away southbound on Torrence Avenue.

"It's clear that he or she had criminal intent because they didn't stop to see if anyone was alright," said police Chief Edward Gilmore. "And then he or she proceeded to hit a second vehicle."

The crash killed 42-year-old Maria Padilla and left her husband, 36-year-old Juan Carlos, and their three children hospitalized.

"It appears to be a hit and run," said Dan Zorzi, assistant chief of the Calumet City Police Department. "The offender struck a car, pushing it off into the woods."

All five were taken to an area hospital, where Padilla died. The survivors have since been released from the hospital.

"That's just horrible," said Laura Vela, who lives across the street from the Padillas in Hammond, Ind. "To leave her children without their mom. Any family, that would be horrible to not have their mom."

Police are still looking for the driver. They ask anyone with information to call 708-868-2500. 

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