A recent University of Illinois graduate was killed in a hit-and-run crash on the Dan Ryan Expressway on the Fourth of July, according to her family members and police.
Rosemarie Garza, 21, was riding in a vehicle driven by her boyfriend just after 4 a.m. Sunday when police say their car was rear-ended by another vehicle.
The couple had been traveling southbound on on Interstate 94 near 95th Street when the unknown vehicle hit them from behind, police said.
Authorities shut down the roadway for several hours as they investigated, but no details on the other vehicle involved have been released.
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"All I remember was seeing windows no longer be windows," Garza's boyfriend, 22-year-old Jonathan Miranda, told Telemundo Chicago. "I saw glass shattered, I saw the door and everything was really gone. It's something you see out of the movies."
Miranda said he believed the car that struck their vehicle was traveling more than 100 mph. He suffered only minor injuries, which he called "a miracle."
"I was left with just bruises and scratches but those will heal," he said. "What won't heal is her presence - her physical presence. You can't take her back."
Garza's family said the young woman had just graduated with honors from University of Illinois with a degree in engineering.
"She had goals and accomplished them with always putting her family first especially her mama," a fundraising page to help the family with memorial expenses read.
Family members said they are in disbelief at their loss and are asking anyone who may know something to speak up.
"If you know something, please say something. That's all we're asking," said Garza's aunt Marina Garza. "Please say something because no one expects tragedy to hit your family, no one, but if it happened to someone else we would speak up. We would say, 'Hey, this is what I saw,' but I feel like in this day and age, everybody's scared of retaliation, everybody's scared, 'I didn't see anything,' but my niece was taken away for no reason."
Police are asking anyone with information to call (847) 294-4400.