Updated at 2:15 p.m. July 19, 2012.
Chicago police are looking for the driver of a van that struck and killed a corrections officer from Plainfield on her way to her overnight shift Wednesday at Cook County Jail.
Nikkii Bostic-Jones, 38, was crossing the street near the jail in the 2900 block of California Avenue at around 10:40 p.m. when she was struck by the van, which pushed her into the path of an oncoming sheriff's squad car. She was pinned underneath the vehicle, according to Cook County Sheriff's Department spokesman Frank Bilecki.
"It's horrific losing her, and it's compounded by having a sheriff's deputy involved," Bilecki said, adding peer support staff have been meeting with Bostic-Jones' coworkers in the wake of the tragedy.
"Staff are just completely at a loss," Bilecki said. "They're distraught."
Detainees in the Division 10 maximum security unit, where Bostic-Jones worked, are also grieving, Bilecki said. Bostic-Jones was a 12-year veteran of the sheriff's department.
"It's a very difficult situation when you're working in a maximum security division," he said. "She believed in treating everyone with respect and dignity, and that included the detainees. They cared for her as well as respected her as much as she respected them."
Relatives told the Chicago Tribune that Bostic-Jones, mother to a 6-year-old daughter, dreamed of becoming a police officer and helped raise her younger siblings while attending school.
“She was my role model,” cousin Cissi Bostic told the Tribune. “She never stopped with her education. She was the smartest one.” To read the full Tribune report, click here.
Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Robert Perez said Bostic-Jones was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital following the crash.
Police said Bostic-Jones was hit by a navy blue, full-size conversion van, possibly with blue and white stripes. The van may have front-end damage and a broken headlight on the right side, police said.
Perez said police do not have a description of the driver of the van. Witnesses said the van may have the Illinois license plate H941017 or a similar combination, according to police.
Anyone with information on the hit-and-run death is asked to call the Chicago Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Unit at 312-745-4521.
Bilecki said Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart was meeting with Bostic-Jones' family Thursday in Plainfield.
At the request of coworkers, a vigil is scheduled for 7 a.m. Friday — the same time Bostic-Jones' shift would end each day — at the site of the accident in front of the jail's Division 10 maximum security unit on California Avenue.
Attempts to reach Bostic-Jones’ relatives were unsuccessful Thursday morning.