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updated: 7/26/2011 10:18 AM

Reward to be offered in fatal Lake Zurich hit-and-run

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  • A bicyclist watches out for traffic as he rides on the shoulder near a memorial set up along Church Street in Lake Zurich for hit-and-run victim Gabriella Drozdz. The Lake Zurich teenager was killed and two friends were injured when they were hit by an SUV Friday night as they walked to Alpine Fest.

       A bicyclist watches out for traffic as he rides on the shoulder near a memorial set up along Church Street in Lake Zurich for hit-and-run victim Gabriella Drozdz. The Lake Zurich teenager was killed and two friends were injured when they were hit by an SUV Friday night as they walked to Alpine Fest.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • A memorial set up along Church Street for hit-and-run victim Gabriella Drozdz. Drozdz of Lake Zurich was killed and friends were injured when they were hit by an SUV Friday night as they walked to Lake Zurich's Alpine Fest.

       A memorial set up along Church Street for hit-and-run victim Gabriella Drozdz. Drozdz of Lake Zurich was killed and friends were injured when they were hit by an SUV Friday night as they walked to Lake Zurich's Alpine Fest.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • A memorial is set up along Church Street in Lake Zurich for hit-and-run victim Gabriella Drozdz. Drozdz of Lake Zurich was killed and two friends were injured when they were hit by an SUV Friday night as walked to Lake Zurich's Alpine Fest.

       A memorial is set up along Church Street in Lake Zurich for hit-and-run victim Gabriella Drozdz. Drozdz of Lake Zurich was killed and two friends were injured when they were hit by an SUV Friday night as walked to Lake Zurich's Alpine Fest.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Danielle Gensburg

The family of the Lake Zurich teen who died in a weekend hit-and-run say they are creating a monetary reward for anyone who provides information or helps track down the driver who killed her.

Loved ones said Monday they have already raised money and set up a Facebook page and online memorial page in honor of 18-year-old Gabriella Drozdz, who died Friday.

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"It's a lot of money, I don't know how much," said Llona Gregory, Gabby's older sister. "I cannot tell you how amazing the community, both friends and family, have been."

The Drozdz family is still working out the details, but a donation account will be set up at a local bank, with contributions to help cover costs or go toward the reward, Gregory said.

"My brother is going to one of the banks to see how we can set up that reward fund. We will definitely be posting all that information on the memorial Web page," she said. "We haven't really figured out how we're going to get the word out."

Funeral arrangements also were announced Monday.

The wake and memorial service is scheduled for Friday, July 29, at Ahlgrim Family Funeral Services, 415 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich.

The Mass will be Saturday, July 30, at 2 p.m. at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Parish, 135 S. Buesching Road, Lake Zurich.

"It's just such a tragedy," Gregory said. "We thank you and all the media for getting the word out and helping us raise awareness about this."

Drozdz was walking with two friends, 16-year-old Rosie Fitts and 18-year-old Vanessa Fitts, when all three were hit from behind by a light-colored SUV that swerved off the road, police said. The Fitts girls were injured but survived.

The hit-and-run took place along the shoulder of Church Street in Lake Zurich, across from Lake Zurich High School, around 9:30 p.m. as the three girls were headed toward Alpine Fest.

Lake Zurich Police are investigating and searching for the SUV driver, who fled the scene following the collision.

"We're sending out a press release asking anyone if they saw a light-colored vehicle with its lights out that was driving in the area right around the time of the accident," Lake Zurich Police Chief Patrick Finlon explained.

The news release reports a witness as having observed an SUV with an Illinois license plate mounted on the rear hatch leaving the area at the time of the collision.

Police officials also said the SUV was seen last driving erratically on eastbound Route 22 near Quentin Road.

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