Driver charged for North Side hit-and-run that killed firefighter

- A driver that killed a 43-year-old Chicago firefighter last month in a hit-and-run crash in the North Side Rogers Park neighborhood was ordered held on a $350,000 bond Wednesday.

About 7:30 p.m. June 12, Lorenzo Douglas was outside of his parked vehicle in the 6500 block of North Ashland when a northbound minivan moved into the southbound lanes and hit him, his vehicle and two other parked vehicles, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. Douglas lived on the same block where he was hit.

The driver, identified by police as 22-year-old Simeon Barrientas, ran away after the crash.

Barrientas, of the 1600 block of West Farwell, has been charged with a felony count of failure to report an accident causing a death and a misdemeanor count of driving having never been issued a license, police said. He was ordered held on a $350,000 bond Wednesday, and is next scheduled to appear in court Aug. 8, according to court records.

Douglas was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition, police said at the time.

After the accident, Douglas began to improve and was rehabilitating at Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

“We thought he was on his way back,” Langford said.

But Douglas suffered from “some kind of relapse” at the medical center, Langford said. He was pronounced dead there at 11:05 a.m. July 5, according to the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy the next day found he died from the injuries suffered when he was struck, and his death was ruled an accident.

Douglas was a firefighter at Engine 103, a single-engine fire station near Madison and Laflin on the Near West Side, known for its firehouse dog Freckles, Langford said.

“He was very well liked,” Langford said. “It’s a small station and a tight-knit group.”

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