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CHICAGO – A woman walking in Chicago with her boyfriend was hit and killed by a Corvette that witnesses said had been drag racing.

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Police said there were two Corvettes speeding toward Shawman Meireis and her boyfriend, when one of the Corvettes hit another vehicle, careened out of control and hit Meireis in a crosswalk, WMAQ reported. Meireis was taken to a hospital, where she died.

The driver who hit Meireis told officers that he had been fleeing from a carjacking, but a police report obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times cited witnesses who said the driver was in one of two Corvettes that were racing each other just before the accident. Two witnesses told the newspaper that the driver who hit Meireis was “showing off” to the other driver.

Witnesses told WFLD that the two Corvettes had been cutting each other off and weaving through traffic before the accident.

After the crash, Meireis’ boyfriend allegedly grabbed the driver of the Corvette, threw him against a street lamp, and yelled, “You killed my girlfriend,” witnesses told the Sun-Times.

“She was a pillar of light for us,” Andrew Preissing, Meireis’ friend, told WMAQ. “People are so unaware of the dangers of driving recklessly”.

In a statement to the Sun-Times, Meireis’ family described her as a “much-loved daughter, sister, aunt and partner,” and said she was just one day away from her 41st birthday when she was killed.

The driver of the Corvette, identified only as a 27-year-old man, was cited for an obstructed front windshield and failure to exercise due care with a pedestrian in the roadway, WFLD reported.

Chicago police superintendent David Brown told WMAQ that they have not definitively ruled whether the cars were involved in a race, and that the investigation is ongoing.