Man facing lawsuit in addition to murder charge in death of woman

A man charged in the death of the woman he allegedly struck with his vehicle while fleeing police in May is now facing a lawsuit brought by the woman’s family.

The husband of 55-year-old Julia Callaway filed the wrongful death suit Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court, which seeks more than $50,000 in damages against Curtis Pugh, according to court documents.

Pugh, 22, was charged May 13 with first-degree murder, as well as drug and traffic offenses, in the death of Callaway, who was struck three days earlier while standing on a sidewalk in the Chatham neighborhood, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Shortly before 6 p.m. the night of the crash, officers smelled a “strong odor of cannabis” coming from Pugh’s Nissan as he drove in the 8000 block of South Evans, according to Chicago Police. When officers pulled up to the car, Pugh sped off with two passengers inside.

Pugh swerved through traffic and ran several stop signs and red lights before he drove onto a sidewalk in the 7900 block of South Lafayette and struck Callaway, who was thrown about 50 feet, Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Conniff said during a bail hearing for Pugh in May.

Callaway died shortly after at University of Chicago Medical Center, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Pugh ran from the scene of the crash, but was arrested in a nearby alley, police said.

He was being held without bail and was scheduled to appear in court next on Aug. 28 on the murder charge, according to Cook County Sheriff’s Office records.

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