Two members of Northwestern cleaning crew killed in Niles car accident

Alan Perez, Campus Editor

Two members of the University’s cleaning crew died early Thursday morning when a marked Cook County sheriff vehicle hit their vehicle at a Niles intersection.

Ludwika Moskal, 69, was driving south on Harlem Ave. toward Dempster St. in a Honda Accord with her sister, Helena Lukasik, 64, in the passenger seat, Niles police said in a release. A sheriff deputy was traveling eastbound on Dempster toward Harlem before hitting the Honda on the passenger side.

Moskal and Lukasik, confirmed Saturday as members of NU’s custodial staff, were taken to Lutheran General Hospital, where they were pronounced dead. The two women were reportedly returning from a night shift in Evanston.

In an email to the NU community, Jim Phillips, the athletic director, said the two were months away from retirement after 30 combined years of working at the University’s athletic facilities.

“They were both caring and compassionate about the people they worked with, as well as passionate about the job they performed each and every night,” he wrote. “They both will be sorely missed by our custodial team, who were made into a family around both these women.”

The sheriff, identified only as a 47-year-old male, was taken to Lutheran General with non-life threatening injuries, the release said. A Cook County sheriff spokeswoman said the deputy was not responding to a call and was released from the hospital Friday.

It’s unclear which car had the right of way, though Niles police said weather may have contributed to the accident. The incident remains under investigation and Niles police are looking for witnesses.

This story was updated at 1:10 p.m. with additional information from the Cook County sheriff’s office.

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