Medical examiner: Death of man struck by SUV in Lakeview was accidental

The death of a man who was fatally struck by an SUV in Lakeview earlier this month has been ruled an accident by the Cook County Medical Examiner.

Joseph Ruta, 56, was reportedly lying in an alley behind the 1000 block of West Oakdale when he was struck and killed by a vehicle that did not stop around 11 a.m. on Aug. 1st. Police who reviewed neighbors’ surveillance videos identified the striking vehicle as an SUV that is registered to a nearby address.

The medical examiner determined that Ruta died from multiple blunt force injuries with acute ethanol toxicity as a contributing factor, according to public records. A witness said Ruta had been seen lying in the alley near a chair and a liquor bottle, leading to speculation that he may have been homeless. The medical examiner listed no home address for him.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is