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Radogno daughter's death tied to hit-and-run, aide says

SPRINGFIELD — The daughter of Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno died unexpectedly of a “massive pulmonary embolism” tied apparently to being struck in mid-May by a hit-and-run driver in Washington,D.C., the GOP leader’s office said Thursday.

Lisa Radogno, 31, died Wednesday evening after being stricken suddenly earlier in the day in her capital home.

“My understanding is the embolism was the result, a complication, following the hit-and-run accident. She was a pedestrian in mid-May in Washington, D.C.,” Radogno spokeswoman Patty Schuh said.

Lisa Radogno, who was single, was one of three daughters of Sen. Radogno and her husband, Nunzio, and served as an executive assistant in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. The senator’s office planned an open house Thursday afternoon in tribute of the GOP leader’s daughter.

Leader Radogno drove to Washington, D.C., after the crash and brought her daughter back to the family’s Lemont home to recuperate from her injuries, with Lisa later returning to the nation’s capital, Schuh said.

Radogno, R-Lemont, addressed her daughter’s death on her Facebook page late Wednesday.

“To all my friends: Late today, my beautiful middle daughter, Lisa Marie Radogno, was called home. Her death was sudden due to a massive pulmonary embolism. We knew the news was not good all day but the finality is beyond painful,” Sen. Radogno said. “Her Washington, D.C. friends have been fantastic. So great to see how much she was loved.”

Not long after that statement, expressions of sympathy began pouring in, including Thursday from Gov. Pat Quinn and his GOP rival for governor, Bruce Rauner.

“There are no words in the English language to comfort a parent who loses a child,” the governor said in a prepared statement. “My deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to Leader Christine Radogno and her family during this extremely difficult time. It is my hope that Lisa’s purposeful life and the cherished memories that Christine, Nunzio and their daughters have of her will help relieve some of the pain in the days ahead.”

Rauner also voiced his sympathy.

“Diana and I extend our deepest condolences to Christine and Nunzio on the passing of their daughter, Lisa,” Rauner said in a prepared statement. “No parent should ever have to endure such a loss. Our thoughts are with the entire Radogno family and with everyone whose lives were enriched by knowing Lisa.”

Leader Radogno’s Democratic counterpart in the Senate also expressed his condolences.

“I’m saddened to hear that my friend and fellow leader has suffered an unimaginable loss,” Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said in a prepared statement. “This is a tragic reminder that beyond our titles and positions, we are all mothers or fathers, sons or daughters. As a father of five, the mere thought of losing a child is unbearable.

“So my deepest sympathies and thoughts are with Christine and her family as they grieve the loss of Lisa Radogno,” Cullerton said.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, said he was shocked by the young woman’s death.

“I am stunned and deeply saddened by the news over Lisa Radogno’s passing. She was a remarkable young woman taken away from us too soon,” Durkin said. “My prayers go out to my dear friend, Christine Radogno and her husband, Nunzio, who loved and were so proud of their daughter.”

Arrangements are pending.