The family of a woman killed in a hit-and-run crash earlier this month has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the man accused in her death, claiming negligence.
Edgar Roman, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder, accused of repeatedly hitting 55-year-old Zoraleigh Ryan and her daughter, Shannon, on Aug. 10 in Chicago's River North neighborhood.
According to police, the women were crossing Hubbard at State Street when an SUV, which prosecutors said was driven by Roman, sped toward them and hit them. According to court documents, Roman got out of the vehicle, looked at the women from just 10 feet away, got back in the vehicle, circled the block and hit them again.
This time Zoraleigh Ryan was dragged down the block, according to police. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.
"What happened on Aug. 10 is horrific. Whether it was reckless conduct or intentional conduct by this man," said the family's attorney, Tim Cavanagh.
Shannon Ryan is still dealing with the physical and emotional pain of the crash. She has a broken wrist and swelling from road rash on her legs and feet.
"Everything has kind of been a blur," said Ryan. "It’s definitely been really hard obviously, but we’ve just trying to hold each other together and what not because we know that’s what mommy would want."
Ryan said her mom was her best friend. The pair, from Arizona, was in Chicago for a baby shower and to celebrate Shannon's 20th birthday.
"We went to a nice steak house down on the Riverwalk. I’m really glad I got to take her on a really nice dinner. We had the most amazing conversation," said Ryan.
Zoraleigh Ryan leaves behind six children and her husband, Michael Ryan.
"She was the most amazing woman I ever met in my entire life," said Shannon Ryan. "She was patient, kind, so forgiving."
The lawsuit is seeking "a sum in excess of the jurisdictional limits of the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County," plus the costs of the case, but Cavanagh said it's about justice.
"They want to know what happened. They want access to the evidence. They want to see the surveillance video," said Cavanagh. "Why do horrible things happen to good people? They want to know why."
Roman is in jail on $2 million bond. His next court date is Sep. 1.