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Driver charged in fatal hit-and-run on Southwest Side

Fernando Mar/ phoprovided by police News Affairs

Fernando Marin / photo provided by police News Affairs

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Updated: April 26, 2013 6:34AM

Ida Quintanilla would do anything for her family, her son said Sunday.

So when she and her sister tried to walk home from a Walgreens on the Southwest Side on Thursday night, and her sibling’s “bad knees” acted up, Quintanilla offered to grab some medicine from her sister’s house while the woman waited at the corner.

Quintanilla began to cross Archer, groceries in hand. And that’s when prosecutors said Fernando Marin, 40, blew through the intersection, turning left from Homan onto Archer as his light was turning red.

Quintanilla’s sister yelled out. But prosecutors said Marin ran his red Chevrolet Suburban into Quintanilla, briefly losing control of his SUV.

Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Pontrelli said Marin didn’t stop. He kept going, dragging Quintanilla under his car and leaving the 58-year-old woman with tire tracks across her midsection.

Her head was split open, Pontrelli said, her torso was twisted and her legs were broken. She died later at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Marin temporarily got away. Pontrelli said he made a right turn and drove the wrong way down Christiana. But police reports show that officers used the SUV license plate number nabbed by a witness to track down its owner — Marin’s girlfriend.

Officers noted that the SUV’s front end was damaged when they caught a glimpse of it through a garage window. Pontrelli said the grill was cracked and blood was recovered from the vehicle.

Marin and his girlfriend confirmed to police that they are the only people who drive the SUV. Marin matched descriptions given by witnesses, police said, and he made no comment when they arrested him.

Prosecutors charged Marin with leaving the scene of an accident, driving on a revoked license and operating without insurance. Cook County Judge James Brown, who noted during the hearing that Marin had two previous arrests for driving under the influence, set Marin’s bail Sunday at $250,000.

If Marin makes bail he will be subject to electronic monitoring and forbidden from driving, the judge said.

Meanwhile, Victor Quintanilla said his son keeps asking, “Where’s Grandma Ida?”

“The only thing I can tell him is, ‘She’s in Heaven,’ ” said Victor, Ida Quintanilla’s son.

Ida Quintanilla was born on the North Side and lived her whole life in Chicago, Victor said. She and her husband had just paid off their house.

She was the mother of three boys, he said, but she always wanted a girl. Later she became grandmother to two girls and two boys.

“She did not deserve to go that way,” Victor Quintanilla said. “For the type of person she was — she was the kindest person in the world. Anything she could do for you, she would.”

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