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Boy, 5, dies following hit-and-run crash


A 5-year-old boy died Wednesday night after being struck by two vehicles in the Edgebrook neighborhood on Chicago’s Far North Side, one of which fled after hitting the boy, police said.

The boy had been “in the street” in the 6300 block of North Cicero Avenue shortly after 9 p.m. when he was struck by a red Jeep SUV that had been traveling north on Cicero, according to an online notification from Chicago police. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had been playing or crossing the street and police did not say if he had been alone or with a caretaker.

The driver of the Jeep “fled the scene” in the SUV immediately after the crash.

The boy, who had not been identified as of Thursday morning, then was struck by a 2013 Volvo, which also had been traveling north on Cicero. The driver of the unknown model Volvo stopped and awaited authorities, police said.

City paramedics rushed the 5-year-old to Ascension St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition. He later was pronounced dead; the Cook County medical examiner’s office did not release additional information such as the child’s name, address or time of death. An autopsy was expected to be performed Thursday to determine his cause and manner of death.

The fatal hit-and-run crash is similar to an Aug. 2 pedestrian fatality in Lawndale, in which a 58-year-old man was struck by two vehicles, one of which failed to stop.

In that unrelated crash, the driver of a silver car — the first to hit the 58-year-old man — fled the scene, police said. The driver of the second car to hit the pedestrian, a 20-year-old man, remained on the scene in the 4000 block of West 5th Avenue and awaited authorities.

Also in Lawndale, 11-year-old Ja’Lon James had just completed fifth grade and was on the honor roll when he was fatally struck by a car in a mid-June hit-and-run. His grandmother, Nicole Harrison, said Ja’Lon — who was one of seven children and who had a twin brother named Ja’Len — enjoyed dancing, TikTok and playing games.

Ja’Lon was one of at least three children under 12 to die after being hit by a vehicle in the month of June.

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Three-year-old Lily Grace Shambrook and 2-year-old Raphael “Rafi” Cardenas each were fatally struck by vehicles in separate accidents in the first weeks of June, causing concern among Chicago’s cycling community. Lily Grace had been in a rear seat affixed to an adult bicycle in Uptown June 2 when a semi hit the bike. Rafi had been crossing a street on a mini-scooter June 9 in the Lincoln Square neighborhood when he was fatally struck.

Also in June, 75-year-old Peter Paquette, known as an avid volunteer in the city’s 47th Ward, was fatally struck by a car in an Irving Park Road crosswalk in the North Center neighborhood.

The string of fatalities led to anger and frustration among community members who held a June 12 rally to advocate for road improvements that would keep cyclists and pedestrians safer. Supporters want citywide infrastructure improvements to prioritize the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, a sometimes politically fraught issue, as parts of the population push back for fear of losing parking spaces and traffic lanes.

Car crash deaths have risen in recent years, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A report released by the agency focusing on motor vehicle fatalities in 2021 found such deaths increased by more than 10% over the prior year. Pedestrian fatalities were up 13% and cycling fatalities 5% in 2021, according to the report.

During the past 10 years, bike and pedestrian fatalities have made up an increasing share of traffic deaths, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S., which made up about 13% of total traffic deaths in 2010, shot up to nearly 17% in 2019, according to the FHWA.

Wednesday’s hit-and-run remains under investigation by the major accidents division of the Chicago Police Department. Officials did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Check back for updates.

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