West Chicago man mowing lawn survives hit-and-run

  • A frame grab from a surveillance video shows the moment just before Guadalupe Ballinas was struck by a minivan while mowing his yard Friday in West Chicago.

    A frame grab from a surveillance video shows the moment just before Guadalupe Ballinas was struck by a minivan while mowing his yard Friday in West Chicago. Courtesy ABC 7 Chicago

  • Guadalupe Ballinas was not seriously injured when a minivan struck him while he was mowing his son's yard in West Chicago.

    Guadalupe Ballinas was not seriously injured when a minivan struck him while he was mowing his son's yard in West Chicago. courtesy ABC 7 Chicago

 
 
Updated 5/17/2016 4:05 PM

A West Chicago man narrowly avoided serious injury in a hit-and-run crash when he was struck by a minivan while mowing his front lawn.

Guadalupe Ballinas was working outside at 5 p.m. Friday on the 1000 block of South Joliet Street when the minivan veered off the road, knocked him down and then sped off, authorities said Tuesday.

 

A video taken from a nearby residential surveillance camera shows his shoes flying off as Ballinas is thrown several feet.

Lettecia Salinas, who lives next door, said Ballinas is always outside mowing and working in his carefully crafted garden.

She captured the hit-and-run on a surveillance camera she recently installed to thwart parcel thefts from her porch.

"My neighbor came over and said his dad was hit by a car and he knew we had the cameras, so he asked us to check it out," Salinas said. "It took my husband a while to find it, but when he did, we were shocked. He (Ballinas) laid out there for three minutes, knocked out, and not a single car stopped to see if he was OK or why he was laying there."

After a few minutes, Ballinas got up and went inside before eventually going back out to finish his lawn work.

"We couldn't believe he got up after that," she said.

Ballinas, a grandfather, is banged up and bruised, but otherwise OK and at home.

He told ABC 7 that someone stopped to help him and had a picture of the minivan's license plate. He said he hopes the person contacts him again so they can track down the driver.

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West Chicago police Cmdr. Eric Shipman said investigators are still searching for what appears to be a white minivan. He said they'd also like to talk to the driver who snapped a photo of the vehicle's license plate.

But, Shipman said, police would have nothing to go on without the video.

"The value of the video speaks for itself. This gentleman was knocked out cold and couldn't have given us any information," he said. "Without it, we wouldn't know anything about the offending vehicle."

At this time, police said they are investigating the crash as an accident.

"Clearly, we need to speak to the driver and find out what their version of the events were," Shipman said. "I can't imagine this is something they did intentionally. So we need to know what caused this to happen in the way that it did."

• Daily Herald Staff Writer Robert Sanchez contributed to this report.

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