Questions remain for many business owners in the commercial district at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Dempster Street about why it took so long for officials to recognize their business colleague Yun Park, owner of Soapie’s Dry Cleaning & Tailoring, was hit by a car Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Yun Park was left lying unconscious in the street after the car that hit her at about 6:15 a.m. sped off, leaving Yun Park in the street without stopping. She was finally helped when the driver of a Jeep stopped to call an ambulance.

Police and fire officials were then involved in the case. But the presumption was that Yun, who remembered nothing of the ordeal, had fallen.

“But the injuries were so much more extensive than anyone could have from a fall,” said one shop owner.

It was by sheer accident that shop owners began combing through surveillance video, when Yun Park’s colleague talked to another shop owner. That effort to find video, began last Thursday, Feb. 16, according to a timeline provided by several shopkeepers who talked with the RoundTable and asked that their name not be published.

Once the video was found, Yun Park’s daughter, Emily, reported it to the police. And local shopkeepers posted it on social media, hoping someone would recognize the car.

“On Feb. 18, 2023, at approximately 2:30 p.m. the Evanston Police Department was notified by the victim’s daughter that her mother was the victim of a hit and run,” EPD wrote in a news release Tuesday, Feb. 22.

“The daughter showed the responding officer surveillance footage from a camera that captured the February 8 incident. The video showed the victim walking west bound on the north side of Dempster Street.”

Police are now hoping to find footage that shows the license plate of the car.

“The victim was crossing Chicago Avenue when she was struck by a white or lighter color SUV that was turning from east bound Dempster Street to north bound Chicago Avenue. The offending vehicle resembles a Nissan Rogue,” according to the release.

“We’re seeking out all available camera footage and we’re analyzing and reviewing the camera footage that is presently in our possession,” said Commander Ryan Glew.

The video showed Park, 53, a longtime business owner who also served as the president of the Main-Dempster Mile’s board of directors, headed home from a morning walk. She was walking west on Dempster Street and crossing Chicago Avenue at the traffic light. There are no cars or people in sight.

Park, in the crosswalk, was about halfway through the intersection when a white SUV driving east on Dempster turned left onto Chicago, knocking Park so hard she was lifted up into the air on to the top of the car hood.

As the car completed the turn, Park rolled off of the hood and onto the street near the curb and was left motionless as the car drove away.

At no time did the car appear to stop or slow down as it ran into her. Despite the video, both the driver and vehicle remain unidentified.

Police are asking for help, community is supporting Park

The EPD release said: “The Evanston Police Department will continue to assess the investigation and the need for a public release of surveillance footage to assist the investigation.”

Police are also asking for anyone with surveillance footage or tips to contact the Evanston Police Traffic Bureau at 847-866-5079 or Text-A-Tip to CRIME (274637) and then start your message with EPDTIP.

Yun Park sits in front of the wall mural for her shop. This picture is on the GoFundMe page friends put up for Park, who was the victim of a hit and run driver on Feb. 8. The incident left her with a fractured skull. She is still hospitalized. Credit: Susy Schultz

Meanwhile, support for Yun Park continues to come in. A GoFundMe campaign to help cover her medical and legal costs was started had raised almost $54,000 as of Sunday, Feb. 26, with a goal of $100,000.

“The community has been so thoughtful,” her daughter Emily Park said of the outpouring of support following the collision. Her mother spent 10 days in the intensive care unit at Evanston Hospital with a fractured skull and bruises, her daughter said.

Yun Park is stable, said Jim Anthony, a spokesperson for the hospital, but he did not provide any more details.

“We wish her nothing but the best,” said Katherine Gotsick, the executive director of the Main-Dempster Mile business district, which posted screen shots on its social media of the vehicle that hit Yun and has told people about the GoFundMe effort. Gotsick is working with businesses in the area to find video footage of the incident that can be used as evidence to trace the vehicle, and “bring the driver to justice.”

On Nextdoor Evanston, Kelly Hughes posted the information for Park’s GoFundMe page, writing: “Yun is so personable – lets help get her back to her former self and support her in any way we can. It will take all of us to help. This she would not hesitate to do for us. Thinking of you Yun.”

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Manan Bhavnani

Prior to joining the RoundTable, Manan Bhavnani covered business and technology for the International Business Times, with a focus on mergers, earnings and governance. He is a double Medill graduate, with...

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Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...

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  1. Yun sounds like a gem in our community. She is lucky to be alive after sustaining that hit. I surely hope the police are actively monitoring that intersection in the morning at the time she was hit to try to catch the driver.

  2. Yun is an absolute gem in this community. She is everyone’s freind that meets her. She needs all of our help as she recovers. Please send your thoughts and generousity her (and Emily’s) way. She will need a lot of support as she recovers….

  3. Yun goes out of her way to help the community and others usually under the radar. This shocked and saddened me. Just as she is trying to get through her cancer treatments this horrible event happens. Please if you know anything step forward even confidentially to the police. And of course, give to her GoFundMe what you can. During the pandemic she kept us alive and barely her business by making us all masks before we knew not to use cloth ones. This lovely woman needs our help. Be strong Yun!