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Retired CPD Officer Richard Haljean Struck, Killed While Crossing Street In Hit-And-Run In Edison Park

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Police are searching for a driver who struck and killed a retired Chicago Police officer with his Jeep as the man crossed Touhy Avenue in the Edison Park neighborhood.

As CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, the driver left behind a critical clue – as it appears a license plate was left behind.

At 6:15 p.m., a Jeep was headed west in the 7600 block of West Touhy Avenue when he hit 57-year-old Richard Haljean, who was walking north across the street.

The Jeep sped off.

The impact was so powerful that the victim's shoes were sent flying to different parts of the street.

Haljean was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where he died. Chicago Police Department spokesman Tom Ahern confirmed Haljean was a retired police officer.

The Chicago Police Major Accident Investigation Unit spent hours walking Touhy Avenue taking pictures and looking for evidence - like pieces of the car that may have fallen off.

Dispatch radio communications indicated that an Illinois license plate was left at the scene. It was believed to be the front plate from a sport-utility vehicle that fled north from the scene.

Neighbors who live in Edison Park say they've had problems with the intersection of Touhy and Oriole avenues where the incident happened for years.

"I heard that the car took off – and that it must have been pretty serious," said Sharon Sands. "You can't cross. Nobody can cross, either way. No cars stop. People fly down here."

Busy Touhy Avenue had reopened by 10 p.m. Meanwhile, police were trying to use the license plate left at the scene to track down the driver.

Nobody was in custody as of Friday morning.

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