- Four teenagers died after their car went airborne over the crest of a hill and split in half.
- Police say they believe the driver acted with intent and drove “at an extremely high rate of speed.”
- The 17-year-old driver, who was not identified, was charged with reckless homicide.
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A 17-year-old driver was charged with reckless homicide after a car crash over the weekend that killed four teenage passengers in the car.
Authorities responded to the crash in Hickory Hills, Illinois, shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, a press release said. Police said the driver, who was not identified because of their age, was moving “at an extremely high rate of speed,” in what Police believe “was an attempt to go airborne over the crest of the hill at 86th Avenue,” police said.
“After travelling through the intersection at 86th Avenue, the vehicle did go airborne, as described by a witness,” police said in the release. “The vehicle then struck a large tree on the north side of 89th Street and the vehicle split in half.”
Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, and two other passengers sustained critical injuries and died at the hospital, police said. Another two passengers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and later released from the hospital.
“The Hickory Hills Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the families involved,” police said in the statement.
On Sunday, vigils were held in honor of the four deceased passengers, who were identified as Omarion Rieves, 17; Nathanial Phillips, 17; Destiny Giera, 16; and Jemerrio Rieves, 15, WGN-TV reported.
“Everything in me wants to just lay down,” Kenneth Roberts, Phillips’ father, told the Chicago NBC News affiliate, WMAQ-TV, on Sunday. “I just want to cry. If I do that, I’ll never get up, so I’ve got to stay strong for his brothers and sisters. They miss him dearly right now.”
“When we broke the news, it was kind of devastating,” he added. “They were great kids, all four of them.”
The driver was taken into custody following treatment and charged with reckless homicide and other traffic citations in connection to the incident.