‘He was the love of my life;’ Hit and run victim, 53, was to marry childhood sweetheart

Staff Reporter/agolab@suntimes.com
Updated: November 10, 2012 2:11AM

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Kristian Hernandez / photo from Cook County Sheriff’s office

Ron Bougan was looking forward to celebrating his 54th birthday on Thanksgiving and was planning to marry his childhood sweetheart.

But those plans were cut short when the Park Ridge resident was struck in a hit-and-run accident as he rode his bicycle on Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines.

On Friday, Cook County sheriff’s police said they caught the driver, a 36-year-old emergency medical technician from Skokie.

Kristian Hernandez was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident and failing to report it after Cook County Sheriff’s detectives traced his car through a body shop where it had been brought for repairs.

Hernandez — who has been arrested seven other times on charges such as domestic battery and possession of a stolen vehicle — was ordered held on a $100,000 bond.

Police said Hernandez admitted his involvement in the accident, which occurred Monday afternoon near the Axehead Lake Forest Preserve.

A graduate of Maine South High School and Western Illinois University, Bougan had worked as a chef and in construction and landscaping.

“He was Mr. Fixit,” his sister said. “He had a lot of friends, a lot of people the he’s touched over the years. He’d see an old man sitting on a bench and he’d talk to him and be interested in his life.”

Bougan had spent much of the summer landscaping a property on the block in Park Ridge where he grew up, and in the process reconnected with an old girlfriend who lives there.

“They fell in love and were planning to get married,” his sister said.

“He was the love of my life, and I was the girl next door,” said Nancy Keeran.

Other survivors include his parents, Sandra and George Christopherson; and siblings, Richard Bougan and Katherine Christopherson.

Services will be from 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Friedrichs Funeral Home, 320 W. Central Road, Mount Prospect.

Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire