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posted: 2/15/2013 12:24 AM

Police investigating death of Palatine woman

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A 77-year-old Palatine woman has died after she may have been struck by a vehicle that was slowly backing up in a private driveway.

Jieru Chen died Thursday after she was airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

At 12:01 p.m. on Wednesday, Palatine police responded to a call of a couple who had fallen down after being struck by a vehicle at an apartment complex in the 400 block of Hicks Road.

During the preliminary investigation, a 42-year-old female driver of a 1998 Chevy Malibu told police she was backing slowly eastbound in a parking lot at that location but did not see anyone or feel the car strike anything.

When she looked to her left, she saw two elderly people lying on the ground outside her driver's door, one male and one female.

The 77-year-old male was attending to his wife while the driver called 911.

The wife was conscious and was transported to Northwest Community Hospital. She was later airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General.

According to police, preliminary information indicates that Chen hit her head on the pavement when she fell while either moving out of the way of the motor vehicle, or when she may have been bumped into at a very slow speed.

The incident remains under investigation by the Palatine Police Technical Accident Reconstruction Unit.

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