‘He Hit a Wonderful Person': Nurse, Mother of 2 Killed in Hit-and-Run Near Midway Airport

A 42-year-old nurse and mother of two was killed in a hit-and-run over the weekend near Midway Airport. 

Guadalupe Chavez was traveling through an intersection on the 5500 block of South Archer Avenue near the airport Saturday night when family members say a red Jeep went around traffic and smashed into her. 

“I tried to save her, but he hit me so hard that I mean I flew,” said Leo Leal, who was with Chavez at the time of the accident.

The driver fled the scene but witnesses tracked down the vehicle and reported it to police.

“I knew something really dreadful had happened,” said witness John Dodaro. “You just don’t know what to do in a situation like that.” 

Chavez was killed in the crash and Leal suffered a shattered ankle.

The 27-year-old driver, identified as Patrick Brazel, was taken into custody and charged with two felony counts of leaving the scene of accident resulting in death, one felony count of reckless homicide and one felony count of aggravated DUI. 

“I just want him to know what he did,” said her sister Martha Chavez. “He hit her and ran. He didn’t know who he hit. He hit a wonderful person. He hit a person that dedicated her life to helping people.” 

Chavez’s family said they are devastated by the loss, saying she was studying to be a licensed nurse practitioner and had just become a grandmother six months ago. 

“I want to see him pay for what he did,” said Leal. “He had no mercy, you know. He knows what he did and he just kept going… didn’t stop.”

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