Hit-and-run driver who critically injured rideshare driver near Mag Mile told cops, ‘I don’t deserve this’: prosecutors

CHICAGO — Prosecutors revealed new details about the hit-and-run collision that left a rideshare driver critically injured near the Magnificent Mile on Monday evening.

Ayca Sarialioglu, the 29-year-old woman accused of striking the man and speeding away from the scene, had just had drinks with a friend at Water Tower Place and refused to submit to sobriety tests after police located her, Assistant State’s Attorney Alexander Konetzki said during a bond hearing on Wednesday afternoon.

Konetzki said the 40-year-old victim was standing outside the former Hancock Building in a loading zone when Sariakioglu struck him from behind around 6:45 p.m. The man slammed into her windshield and spun head over heels twice before hitting the pavement, according to Konetzki.

The victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.

“I’m so sorry for anything that I caused you tonight, but at the same time, I don’t deserve this,” Sarialioglu allegedly told Chicago police investigators.

Water Tower’s surveillance system recorded Sarialioglu’s movements almost completely, from when she stepped on the garage elevator up to and including the collision.

As she drove toward the garage exit, she slammed into a parked van but kept going, according to Konetzki. He said she accelerated through a red light at Michigan Avenue and kept driving after striking the victim.

About 15 minutes later, 911 callers reported a woman passed out inside a badly damaged car in the 300 block of West Erie. It was Sarialioglu, Konetzki said, adding that first responders noticed the strong smell of alcohol coming from her.

She refused to take field sobriety tests or submit to a breathalyzer.

Ayca Sarialioglu and a video image of the crash site. | Chicago Police Department; Citizen

“I had two drinks and absolutely shouldn’t have driven, I admit,” Sarialioglu allegedly told officers after being advised of her right to remain silent. “But it’s not like I intentionally hurt anyone. I would never, ever hurt anybody, like, ever.”

When police told her about the rideshare driver’s injuries, she allegedly replied, “I hurt him that bad?”

Bradley Fuller, a private defense attorney, represented Sarialioglu in court on Wednesday.

“These are troubling allegations, not at all a description of my client or her behavior,” Fuller said, pointing to Sarialioglu’s complete lack of criminal or traffic violation background.

He said she works an unpaid internship after earning an architectural design degree from Columbia College.

“You’re very fortunate—we are all very fortunate—that this isn’t across the hall in Courtroom 102, where they deal with vehicular homicides and things like that, because this could have been much more serious,” Judge Ankur Srivastava told Sarialioglu after hearing the allegations.

He ordered her to pay a $500 bail deposit to get out of jail and barred her from driving for the next 30 days.

She is charged with felony failure to report an accident involving injury, felony leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, and misdemeanor counts of leaving the scene and DUI. She was also cited for failure to reduce speed.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com