CHICAGO - Friends are remembering a 57-year-old retired Chicago police officer who was killed by a hit-and-run driver Thursday night in Edison Park.
Richard Haljean was already facing serious health issues when he was struck by the car while crossing Touhy near Oriole.
Neighbor Jessica Jastrowki was in her living room facing Touhy when she heard a loud bang around 6:15 p.m.
"We thought my car got hit. It was a huge bang. It was really loud. I ran outside and all these cars stopped and I just saw the body in the street," she said.
A passerby administered CPR to Haljean until paramedics arrived.
Haljean was a Chicago police officer for 29 years before retiring in 2020. The ex-Marine and father of three teenagers was already battling a life-threatening illness when he was killed by a speeding Jeep SUV speeding.
"So I know with his recent retirement he’s really been focusing on trying to spend as much time with family and friends," said close friend Lt. John Garrido. "Which makes this so much more heartbreaking. Because who knows how much time he has left."
The impact knocked the license plate off the car, which was later recovered in northwest suburban Palatine.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said they’re investigating with heavy hearts.
"We send our condolences out. What a tragic, tragic thing for the family and our prayers are with the family as well," Brown said.
Neighbors say the stretch of Touhy where the hit-and-run occurred has been a problem for years, with multiple accidents. And while the posted speed is 30 mph, neighbors say some drivers treat it like an expressway.
"Just lower the speed limit," said neighbor Conan Laisor. "It’s a residential neighborhood—with a highway going through it."