The father of an 8-year-old boy killed Monday after being struck by a car paused today to light incense at a growing memorial near the Skokie intersection where his son was killed.
Nhu Vo was at the corner of Main Street and St. Louis Avenue trying to understand how his son Carter became an unfortunate victim of a chain-reaction crash that ended with a vehicle careening onto the sidewalk and striking the boy.
Nhu Vo remembered his son, Carter, as a smart kid who enjoyed bike riding and Spider-man.
“He always asked me my opinion,” said Vo. “He asked me, ‘Dad, what do you want me to be?’ I would say, ‘Whatever makes you happy.’”
The second-grader had wanted to be an engineer, but had recently thought about being a fighter pilot, the father said.
“He was an above-average student,” said the father. “He was a very smart kid.”
Carter, of the 4600 block of Madison in Skokie, was pronounced dead at 8:18 p.m. Monday, nearly four hours after he was struck by the car.
The boy died from multiple trauma to his head and the Cook County medical examiner's office ruled his death an accident, said a spokesman for the office.
The crash involved three vehicles and happened just before 4:30 p.m.
Skokie police say they are questioning a 23-year-old woman about the crash, and charges are pending. Police are also awaiting toxicology exams which are required by state law when fatal accidents occur.
Cook County state's attorney's officials are involved in the investigation. Village engineers will review the intersection for any safety deficiencies at the intersection, which is now controlled by two-way stop signs. Officials will also review accident history at that intersection, officials said.
A memorial has sprung up with stuffed animals, flowers, candles, a rubber ball, small toys – including a Spider-man doll, and incense. There’s also a picture of Carter, smiling.
The boy was either walking or riding his bicycle, said Police Chief Anthony Scarpelli. His father said Carter was likely riding his bike.
Residents in the area called the mile-long stretch of road between McCormick Boulevard and Crawford Avenue dangerous, and said they have been complaining about it to the village for years.
“I’d be surprised if you found a single parent that didn’t think this street is dangerous,” said Matt Smith, who lives a few blocks from the accident site and has a child at nearby John Middleton Elementary School. “The speed limit is 30, but nobody does the speed limit.”
“In a perfect world I’d like to see a red light somewhere between McCormick and Crawford,” he added.
Vo said private funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday. He noted that he understands classmates of his son are making cards today.
The family is originally from Vietnam, but has lived in Skokia area for 10 years.
Brian Cox is a freelance reporter, Carlos Sadovi is a Tribune reporter
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