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Traffic Study Prompted By Hit-And-Run Crash Near School To Be Unveiled

 Chicago Academy, which is run by the nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership, has an elementary school and high school on its Dunning campus.
Chicago Academy, which is run by the nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership, has an elementary school and high school on its Dunning campus.
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Facebook/Chicago Academy

DUNNING — A study of traffic near a school where two girls were hurt in a hit-and-run crash in February will be released Thursday, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th) said.

A 7-year-old girl and her 14-year-old sister were crossing the street in the 3400 block of Austin Avenue near Newport Avenue when the crash occurred at 7:59 a.m. Feb. 16 just outside Chicago Academy, which includes both a high school and elementary school on its campus, police said.

After the sisters were injured near the intersection, which has no traffic signals or stop signs, Villegas asked officials with the Chicago Department of Transportation to expedite a study of traffic in the area in an effort to improve safety. Villegas said he first requested the study a year ago.

That study has been completed and will be presented at a meeting set for 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Chicago Academy, 3400 N. Austin Ave., Villegas said.

Matthew Lucchini, 26, of Naperville, was charged with drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk and negligent driving in connection with the crash that injured the sisters, police said.

At the time of the accident, Lucchini was a physical education teacher at Locke Elementary School in Montclare, according to the school's website and a Chicago Public Schools spokesman.

Another accident occurred near Cornelia and Austin avenues on March 16 when a teenage boy riding a bike lost control and struck a parked car, Villegas said.

Villegas said his office has received dozens of complaints about traffic near Chicago Academy, which is run by the nonprofit Academy for Urban School Leadership.

"What ever we do, it has to be justified by the study," Villegas said, adding that suggestions have included a traffic light, a speed camera or speed humps.

After the accident that injured the girls, neighborhood residents served as volunteer crossing guards to help students get to and from school at Villegas' request.

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