Highland Park, News

Alleged driver in hit-and-run that killed local School Board member is arrested

Local authorities have arrested and charged the alleged offender in a June hit-and-run that killed a cyclist in Highland Park.

Melanie Hass, 41, of Mundelein, was charged on Friday with leaving the scene of the fatal accident, a felony, after the car she was driving struck Maureen Wener, 49, of Deerfield, on June 2 near Piccadilly and Deerfield Roads and then fled the scene, according to a news release from the City of Highland Park.

The alleged offender reportedly did not attempt to provide aid or report the crash.

Wener was riding a bicycle when she was struck and later died at Condell Medical Center from her injuries.

Wener was an officer with the Deerfield Public Schools District 109 Board of Education. To the local caucus in 2021, Wener said prior to her election, “I love Deerfield. Volunteering my talents and skills on the School Board will be another way to give back to the community that has given all of us so much.”

The Highland Park Police Department and Lake County Major Crash Assistance team led the investigation with charges approved by the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Hass is also being sued in Lake County Circuit Court for her alleged role in the hit-and-run death.

The wrongful death suit, filed by Wener’s husband, Paul Rundell, claims that Hass was making an illegal U-turn as she struck Wener and was also driving too fast for the conditions and not paying attention.

The lawsuit requests compensation for all losses in an amount exceeding $50,000.

The Record is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community newsroom that relies on reader support to fuel its independent local journalism.

Subscribe to The Record to fund responsible news coverage for your community.

Already a subscriber? You can make a tax-deductible donation at any time.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

Related Stories