Illinois police are looking for the driver of a black pickup truck that witnesses say struck and killed a former Evansville High School standout football player near Harvard, Ill., last week.
Chris Schaaf, 25, was killed while bicycling around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, said McHenry County Sheriff's Sgt. Karen Groves, who is investigating the hit and run. He died at the intersection of Maxon and Graf roads, a few miles from the Wisconsin-Illinois border.
Groves said witnesses reported that neither the pickup nor Schaaf stopped at the intersection. Schaaf had a stop sign, but the truck did not, she said. The road on which the pickup was driving has a 55 mph speed limit.
After striking Schaaf, "the pickup truck didn't even slow down. He just kept going," Groves said, quoting two witnesses in another truck behind the suspect vehicle. It is described as a Chevolet pickup, model years 2000 to 2004, with a regular cab, long bed and a single tailpipe with a decorative chrome cap on the end.
Schaaf, an Evansville native, had moved to Harvard in February with his wife, the former Crystal Ammann, a native of Cottage Grove. Crystal Schaaf said the two met as freshmen at UW-Milwaukee and married in 2008. After completing their master's degrees - she in occupational therapy and he in architecture - both had just begun new jobs. Chris Schaaf was working as a drafting technician for Blain Supply in Janesville, while Crystal Schaaf is an occupational therapist for the Woodstock, Ill., school system.
In high school, Chris Schaaf was an all-state and all-conference football player at Evansville. He and Crystal were training for a biking-and-running event in Delafield, she said.
"He was like everybody's friend," Crystal Schaaf said. "He would walk into a room and talk to anybody."
Police are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the driver. Tipsters should call the McHenry County Sheriff's Office at 815-338-2144 or CrimeStoppers at 800-762-7867.
In addition to his wife, Chris Schaaf is survived by his mother, Susan (Gary) Farrey, of Evansville; a brother Jeremy (Joy), of Prairie du Sac; a sister, Danielle, of Platteville; his godson and nephew, Braden, of Prairie du Sac; and other relatives. His funeral is Monday at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cottage Grove.