Mother of two killed in crash as she came home from birthday cruise

CHICAGO (Fox 32 News) - Details are emerging in the tragic and sudden death of a 41-year-old mother of two, killed on her way back from what her family describes as "the time of her life."

Beyanca Stephenson was returning home from Navy Pier after a cruise, said her cousin, Alexis Mathis.

“It's just sad, because you're with somebody one day, and they're gone the next day,” Mathis said.

Mathis said the crash that took Stephenson’s life may have caught her by surprise.

“As far as I know, she was talking, saying goodbye to her nieces and trying to figure out when the next time they're going to get together,” Mathis said.

Video taken in the aftermath of the collision was clear; it showed the drivers’ side door of Stephenson's white sedan bent the opposite direction after Chicago Police said a 2010 Ford Focus, driven by an unidentified 22-year-old, hit her as she stood near the intersection of Roosevelt and Racine in University Village.

The crash happened at about 1:30 a.m., police said.

The collision had enough force send her into the back window of the car parked in front of hers.

The Focus had visible front-end damage, the video showed.

Stephenson’s cousin remembered her as a woman integral to their family.

“She's got kids, grandkids, and they're close, so it's going to be real hard for the family,” Mathis said.

The driver of the Focus stayed at the scene and was given a citation for negligent driving and striking a pedestrian in the roadway, according to police.
Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

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