ARMOUR SQUARE — The woman struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash last week was remembered by her family and colleagues as a dedicated caretaker.
One of seven siblings, Suai Xie, 59, had emigrated from China's Canton province in 2001 and spent her years in America as a homemaker and caretaker, often cooking traditional Chinese dinners, said Yan Situ, 31, one of Xie's two sons.
Xie recently had taken a job with the Chinatown branch of Help at Home, a service that dispatches caretakers to the homes of elderly people for jobs like cooking meals, cleaning homes and arranging rides.
Casey Cora discusses the latest on last week's deadly hit-and-run in Bridgeport:
Situ said his mother had started riding her bike for exercise, and around 5:45 p.m. Thursday she had ridden away from the nearby Cermak Produce grocery store when she was struck by a van.
The driver was a 65-year-old Bridgeport man, authorities said.
Xie was taken to Stroger Hospital and pronounced dead a short time later, authorities said.
"My friend called me and said I had to call the hospital. I talked to the emergency doctors, and they said she had died," said Situ, who stood outside his mother's Armour Square residence.
Xie's colleagues said they were shocked and saddened to learn of her death, which was announced last week by one of the service's fellow Chinatown caretakers.
"The whole day we couldn't focus. ... She was a nice person. Very responsible. No matter what, she just got her work done for her clients," said Jin Hui, Xie's supervisor.
Prosecutors said Gabriel Herrera, of the 3000 block of South Quinn Street, had been driving a van to a hardware store when he struck Xie, the Tribune reported.
Herrera kept driving after the collision and was later arrested at his home, authorities said.
He was charged with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident that caused an injury or death. He also was charged with a misdemeanor failure to provide information or provide aid and was ticketed for a failure to reduce speed.