1 killed in Portage Park hit-and-run

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CHICAGO - One person was killed in a violent hit-and-run crash in Portage Park early this morning on Chicago's Northwest side, and police suspect drag racing.

A medical examiner identified the victim as Cesar Diaz, 38.

According to Chicago police, a black 2002 Honda Civic slammed into a tree at about 1:40 this morning in the 5000 block of West Irving Park Road.  Police say it had been speeding when a van hit it, wrapping the Honda completely around the tree.  The crash was so bad, the car simply looked like a pile of mangled metal, with gouges, dents and broken glass strewn across the street.

Police investigators were on the scene as fire officials and paramedics tended to the drivers.  Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene.

The occupants of the van ran away from the accident.   No one is in custody.

The speed limit is 30 miles per hour, but the vehicles were clearly going much faster, raising disturbing questions about drag racing.  Police have not confirmed that was the cause.

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