Hit-and-Run Victim 'Had Such a Big Heart'

Article excerpt

Byline: Madhu Krishnamurthy mkrishnamurthy@dailyherald.com

Caring for children came naturally to Theresa Burns, according to a former co-worker of the 57-year-old Des Plaines woman killed Monday in a hit-and-run crash in Aurora.

Burns, who worked at an Aurora residence and school for students with psychiatric challenges, was struck by a vehicle while trying to rescue a student who had run into the street, authorities said.

Police said an 18-year-old female student ran from Northern Illinois Academy's facility at 988 Corporate Blvd. and sat in a southbound lane of Church Road.

Burns and another staff member, a 25-year-old Plainfield man, were trying get the student off the street when they were struck by a car whose driver then ran away.

Burns was pronounced dead at the scene. The Plainfield man was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries and was released from an Aurora hospital. The student was not injured.

"It's just tragic what has happened," said Nina Aliprandi, director of residential services for Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, where Burns worked from 1995 through 2010.

Burns began her career with Maryville as a family educator working with adolescent girls at the Des Plaines campus. …