LINCOLN SQUARE — A Lincoln Square man who regularly volunteered for Ald. Matt Martin’s 47th Ward office and organized to help neighbors during the pandemic was killed Sunday when a driver hit him as he crossed the street in North Center, police and Martin said.
Peter Paquette, 75, died after leaving an early vote rally with Martin and hours after hundreds of neighbors rallied for better pedestrian and bicyclist safety after two toddlers were killed in Lincoln Square and Uptown, Martin said.
The crash occurred about 5:15 p.m. in the 2000 block of West Irving Park Road, police said. A 30-year-old man driving a sedan east on Irving Park hit Paquette as he walked south across a crosswalk at Hoyne Avenue, police and Martin said.
Paquette was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital and pronounced dead at 5:46 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Officers cited the driver for not having insurance and hitting a pedestrian in the road. Police are investigating.
Paquette’s family was not immediately available for comment Monday.
Paquette lived in Lincoln Square. Martin said in a statement he was devastated by the news, having greeted and spoken with Paquette at the early vote rally before he was killed.
Martin said Paquette regularly volunteered at his office before the pandemic. After COVID-19 hit Chicago, Paquette collected clothes for the ward’s donation drives. Paquette also called older people during last year’s free Songs of Good Cheer concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Martin said.
Martin said Paquette was a “kind and compassionate spouse, friend and neighbor … who was deeply invested in his family and in our community and who believed passionately in holding government accountable so that it could better serve the public.”
Paquette’s death comes amid several deadly crashes where drivers hit pedestrians and bicyclists.
Earlier Sunday, about 1 mile north of where Paquette was killed, about 300 people marched in honor of toddlers Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas and Elizabeth “Lily” Grace Shambrook, who died when drivers hit and killed them this month in Lincoln Square and Uptown.
Also over the weekend, two people were critically injured outside Midsommarfest in Andersonville when a driver jumped the curb and hit them on the sidewalk, police said.
A 62-year-old bicyclist was hospitalized last month after a driver hit him at the intersection of Lincoln and Wilson avenues, a few blocks from where Rafi was killed.
“Like so many of you, I am distraught by these deaths: I know first-hand how dangerous it can feel to cross Irving Park on foot, and I know how anxious it can feel to have your young child scoot or bike on side streets,” Martin said.
Martin has pushed for better street infrastructure that better protects pedestrians and cyclists as a candidate and now an alderperson and said he would continue to work with neighbors and transportation activists to improve pedestrian, bike, and public transportation infrastructure across the city.
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