OAK LAWN, Ill. — A 15-year-old girl was killed in a hit-and-run while walking to school in suburban Chicago Ridge early Monday.
Officials have identified the victim as Amira Nairat, a freshman at Richards High School. Amira was a block from school when she was fatally struck by a Volkswagen Beetle about 7:45 a.m. Monday in the 10700 block of Central Avenue.
The car’s 25-year-old driver is now in custody, police said, and is believed to have been involved in multiple crashes that morning.
The first occurred about 7:35 a.m. in suburban Oak Lawn when the Beetle rear-ended a car stopped in traffic near 95th Street and Central Avenue, police said. The Beetle then side-swiped another car near 97th Street and Central Avenue before causing the fatal crash in Chicago Ridge.
Police on the lookout for the Beetle witnessed the fatal crash. One Chicago Ridge officer stayed with Amira; another was then able to follow the Beetle and detain the driver.
Amira was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she later died.
"Amira was a quiet but kind student," Principal Mike Jacobson said in a statement. "She was so dedicated to her studies and the happiness of her classmates. While she was just a freshman, her teachers spent the entire day reflecting on her achievements and the value she added to our school. The entire Bulldog community will feel this loss deeply."
Students at Richards High School were shaken.
“My heart sank into my gut,” student Rory Joseph said. “It was very scary knowing, if she’s a walker, I could know her. I don’t feel like it’s a danger with drunk drivers in the morning, but it could always happen.”
Grief counselors were made available to students and staff at Richards High School on Monday. School officials said counselors will continue to be present in coming days.