ROBBINS, Ill. — Family and loved ones of a Robbins man killed in a crash are demanding answers nearly two weeks after the suspects were released from police custody.
A vigil on Friday night brought Donald Carter Sr.’s relatives back to the crash site that claimed his life. The family is pressing for charges against the teens who caused the deadly crash and is also suing the city because they say a police officer shares some of the responsibility.
“We have to send a message in Illinois that this is not acceptable,” said Tracey Olawumi.
According to police, Carter was driving near his retirement home on Feb. 12 when three 13-year-old boys joyriding in a stolen Kia crashed into his car, killing him.
“They need to be held accountable, the kids and the parents,” said Domonique Harriott, Carter’s daughter.
The boys were arrested at the scene, but police say because they’re kids, officers could only hold them for 24 hours without charges before releasing them to their families.
“When you’re underage and you take on an adult situation, then you need to be tried as an adult. Period,” said Denise Kimble, Carter’s sister.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office hasn’t filed charges, telling WGN News Friday the case remains under investigation.
“I think that they’re just passing the buck with it,” said Desmond Carter, the victim’s son.
The family says the teens aren’t the only ones to blame. This week they filed a lawsuit against the City of Robbins, saying the boys were driving fast because they were fleeing an officer who was pursuing them. The officer is also named in the lawsuit.
“This is a pursuit that shouldn’t have happened. This is a pursuit that lasted too long. It’s a pursuit that was reckless,” said Douglas Hopson, the family’s attorney.
Recklessness, the family believes, cost a beloved father, grandfather, and great-grandfather his life.
“We are ready for the fight of justice for our dad,” Desmond Carter said.
A Robbins spokesman responded to WGN News’ request for comment, stating that the city has not yet seen the lawsuit but police dispute that there was a pursuit. They say an officer noticed a suspicious vehicle, notified dispatch and started to drive in the direction of the Kia but immediately noticed smoke from the crash blocks ahead.