By Clifford Ward
Special to the Tribune
1:40 PM EST, January 22, 2013
A staff member at a school for children with psychiatric difficulties was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while attempting to aid a runaway student, Aurora police said Tuesday.
Police are searching for the driver of the car that killed Theresa Burns, 57, of 700 block of South River Road, Des Plaines, a staff member at the Northern Illinois Academy, around 5:30 p.m. Monday, police said.
Burns was assisting another staff member with an 18-year-old female student who had fled the school and was sitting in a southbound traffic lane of Church Road near the academy on the northeast side of Aurora, police said, when Burns and the other staff member were struck by a southbound vehicle.
The driver of the car, a 1997 Chevrolet Geo Metro, abandoned the car and fled. Police say they have a good idea of the driver’s identity, but have not yet been able to locate him.
Burns was pronounced dead at 5:58 p.m. The other staff member, a 25-year-old male, was treated and released at a local hospital with what police described as non life-threatening injuries. No one else was hurt, police said.
Northern Illinois Academy, which is located on the 900 block of Corporate Boulevard north of Interstate 88, is residence and school for young people with psychiatric challenges, police said.