Police are looking for suspects in a hit-and-run accident that killed a beloved writer and activist on Chicago’s South Side.
Chicago police reported the crash happened on July 11 near the intersection of 49e and Drexel in the Kenwood neighborhood.
The victim has been identified as Hannah Hayes, 62.
“I miss her,” said her husband, Jesse Sinaiko. “She was my companion, she was my lover, she was my best friend.”
Sinaiko said his world is now shattered after losing the love of his life, saying he and his wife have been together for almost 30 years.
“The memories we had are a lifetime,” he said. “They won’t leave, but it’s very tough right now, it’s very tough.”
A memorial now marks the spot where his wife was tragically killed. Hayes was on her way home when she was hit.
“I looked at my watch, it was 11 a.m. and I said ‘it’s a little late you know’,” he said. “I texted him and it’s gonna haunt me forever, I said, ‘Are you okay? Two minutes later the doorbell rang and it was a cop.
Hayes was just a block from her home when police say the driver of a stolen silver 2012 Lexus blew through a stop sign and stripped his vehicle. The suspects fled the scene on foot.
Chicago police released surveillance photos of at least two wanted suspects in connection with the fatal crash.
“They were just driving around acting like idiots,” he said. “Because of this, they ended one life and devastated two others.”
Hayes’ husband told NBC 5 that she was inspired to change the world through her work as a writer and activist fighting for education and immigration reform.
“She wasn’t afraid to go waist deep in the mud to do something. She was also a worker bee. The most dynamic person I have ever known,” he said. “She didn’t care about recognition. She didn’t care about accolades. None of this mattered to her – keep an eye on the prize was one of her big phrases.
Hayes’ work was deeply rooted in Chicago. His articles have appeared regularly in major publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times. She had also worked as an activist, notably during the political campaign of former mayor Harold Washington. More recently, she became involved in helping children as part of the local school board at Reavis Elementary.
“She had the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever known,” her husband said. “She was a wonderful mom. She really loved children.
Sinaiko said his wife’s death is a huge loss to the community, a void that can never be replaced. His goal now is to seek justice for those responsible for his death.
Hayes’ family plans a memorial service for her at a park in Reavis Elementary on August 6e at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.