Authorities identify Bartlett bicyclist killed in Elgin crash; husband still in hospital
A Bartlett couple who were out on a bike ride when a vehicle crashed into them during a police pursuit in Elgin loved being physically active and spending time together, relatives said.
Sandra Sampey, 52, died of multiple injuries due to the crash Tuesday at the intersection of Raymond Street and Purify Drive in Elgin, the Kane County coroner's office said Thursday.
Her husband John Sampey, 58, was critically injured. He underwent surgery and the family is optimistic about his recovery, said his cousin Tim Sampey, of Chicago.
Sandra, whose nickname was "Sandi," had family in Brazil and worked as an international flight attendant for United Airlines. The couple have two teenage sons.
"She had a very glowing personality," Tim Sampey said.
"She truly was just a very nice person who was very protective of her family and cherished her family."
Tim Sampey's wife, Jamie, added, "She was a vibrant woman with a smile that was seen across the room. She loved her husband and her boys more than anything. They were her life."
Sandra and John were very involved in the community, their relatives said.
John Sampey is on the Bartlett board of police and fire commissioners, and Sandra Sampey was a fitness instructor at Taylor Family YMCA in Elgin.
"We all love her so much because she's a wonderful instructor," said Parvathi Kumar, membership coordinator at the YMCA.
Sandra and John also were involved in their children's sports including football, baseball and wrestling.
"He coached, and she was a cheerleader," Tim Sampey said.
Biking was one of the many activities that John and Sandra Sampey enjoyed doing together, their relatives said.
"It was a stress relief, as well as it kept them in shape," Tim Sampey said. "They were innocently standing by there, and life just changed that quickly."
The police pursuit started after officers responded to two 911 calls regarding a hit-and-run about 4 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of East Chicago Street and Villa Court.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle that was headed south on Raymond Street, but the vehicle sped away.
The crash with the two bicyclists happened less than 2 miles south on Raymond Street, soon after police slowed their pursuit, according to police.
The driver ran away and was captured by police officers after a two-hour search, police said.
The driver remained in police custody Thursday afternoon, Cmdr. Jim Bisceglie said.
"We are doing a thorough investigation" including talking to witnesses and reviewing video, including squad car video, he said.
The Elgin police and fire departments, as well as hospital staff, did "a phenomenal job," Tim Sampey said.