No bail for driver accused of fatally hitting woman while fleeing CPD in Chatham

SHARE No bail for driver accused of fatally hitting woman while fleeing CPD in Chatham

Curtis Pugh was charged with fatally hitting a woman with a vehicle Thursday in the 7900 block of South Lafayette. | Google Earth

A driver accused of fatally striking a woman while speeding away from police last week in Chatham was ordered held without bail on Sunday.

Cook County Judge David R. Navarro denied bail for 22-year-old Curtis D. Pugh, of Matteson, who was charged Saturday night with first-degree murder in the death of 55-year-old Julia Callaway Jones.

Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Conniff laid out the details of Pugh’s attempted getaway at his initial court hearing Sunday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

About 6 p.m. Thursday, Chicago Police officers smelled a “strong odor of cannabis” coming from the gray Nissan that Pugh was driving in the 8000 block of South Evans, according to Conniff. When the officers walked up to the car after curbing it, Pugh sped off with two passengers inside.

Curtis Pugh | Chicago Police

Curtis Pugh | Chicago Police

Pugh ran red lights and stop signs while swerving through traffic as he drove south on Evans and and took a left on 81st Street, eventually losing the officers who were tailing him, Conniff said.

By the time a CPD helicopter spotted the Nissan abandoned near the intersection of 83rd Street and Lafayette, Pugh had swerved onto a sidewalk in the 7900 block of South Lafayette and struck a 31-year-old man and Callaway Jones, who was thrown 50 feet in the air, Conniff said. The violent crash was caught on video surveillance.

Officers caught up to Pugh in the 8200 block of South Perry as he hopped over a backyard gate and into an alley, a police report shows. Pugh was unaware that he’d struck the pedestrians when he was taken into custody. He was the only person arrested in the case.

Paramedics took Callaway to University of Chicago Hospital, where she was pronounced dead about a half hour later, police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. She lived about a block from where she was struck by the vehicle.

The man was treated at the scene, police said.

When officers arrested Pugh, they found 19.3 grams of suspected crack cocaine with an estimated street value of $2,345, police records show.

That led to a charge of manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, in addition to the murder charge, an aggravated fleeing and eluding police charge and a charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death, court documents show. He was also cited for various traffic violations.

Pugh is being held at Cook County Jail awaiting a Monday court appearance.

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