Daughter of Illinois Senate leader and Senate staffer dies in Washington month after crash

June 19, 2014

The 31-year-old daughter of the Illinois state senate Republican leader and an aide to a U.S. Senator died on Wednesday, about a month after she was struck by a car in the District, according to the state senator’s spokeswoman.

Lisa Radogno, the scheduler for U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), suffered a pulmonary embolism at her home near Capitol Hill, according to a statement from Illinois Sen. Christine Radogno.

Radogno’s spokeswoman, Patty Schuh, said the family said the embolism was the result of having been struck by the vehicle in the hit-and-run accident, in which she had initially injured her wrist and ankle. Schuh said she believed the accident occurred sometime between May 5 and May 12, but she did not have a precise date, nor did she know the location.

D.C. police were unable to immediately locate a report of the accident without a date and street address. A department spokesman did say that the Major Crash Unit, which handles accidents involving death or grave injuries, did not respond, indicating that the injuries were not deemed serious at the time.

Schuh said Radogno was discharged from a District hospital shortly after the accident and returned to Illinois to recuperate. She returned to Washington and to work at Kirk’s office. On Tuesday night, she either fell or collapsed and was rushed to an area hospital. A spokeswoman for the D.C. fire department confirmed a transport from Radogno’s address about 9 p.m. Tuesday for a critically ill patient.

A D.C. police spokesman said records show Radogno was unable to speak or breathe, and was unconscious when she was rushed to the hospital. The report of that ambulance call does not mention a previous accident involving a vehicle.

Kirk — who returned to work after suffering a stroke in 2012 — eulogized Radogno on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday, noting her devotion to the Chicago White Sox, complete with the team’s insignia tattooed on her ankle. He held up a picture of Radogno, according to C-Span recording, and called her “one of the brightest lights of our Washington, D.C. office.”

Schuh said Radogno had been with Kirk since 2008 and had worked on Capitol Hill previously for a U.S. congressman. She was not married and had no children. She is survived by her mother and father, Nunzio Radogno, an attorney, and two sisters, Jessica Sahady and Becky Braun.

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