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KANKAKEE — A 51-year-old eastside Kankakee man was struck and killed as he attempted to cross the four-lane East Court Street in the early morning hours on Saturday.

Donnie Ireland, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:56 a.m. Saturday.

Ireland was found on the road by a second motorist who allegedly struck the fallen man.

According to Kankakee police, the first motorist who struck Ireland did not stop. Kankakee Police Chief Frank Kosman said the incident remains under investigation.

“The offending vehicle has not been identified,” the chief said.

Ireland’s wife of 22 years, Sarah, said her husband left their Marycrest subdivision home at 1:45 a.m. Saturday to walk to the nearby BP gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes.

“This was not unusual at all,” she said of his walk to the BP.

When he hadn’t returned after a short time, she called his cellphone. When the call went unanswered, she became concerned. She went out to look for him and saw the police near the St. Joseph Avenue intersection, where her husband was struck.

Ireland was a machine operator for J.R. Short Milling in Kankakee, Sarah said. He worked a later shift so it was not unusual for him to walk to BP in the early morning hours.

He was a 1986 graduate of Kankakee High School. Prior to J.R. Short, he worked at ITW Angleboard in Kankakee.

“Hopefully, whoever did this, they have a conscience and come forward,” Ireland’s wife said. “This has been such a shock. It’s terrible.”

She noted her husband loved fishing and the Chicago Bears.

She also hoped this area of East Court also could gain better lighting.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call 815-933-0426 or Crime Stoppers at 815-932-7463.

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