Brian Dewitt was a good kid with a big heart, family members said Wednesday, hours after the young man's life was taken in a collision with a police officer's squad car.
The accident occurred at the intersection of 95th St. and Central Park Ave. at 9:41 p.m. on Tuesday night, according to the Evergreen Park Police Department. Police were attempting to pull over a different car when the accident occured.
Dewitt, 18, was transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn where he later died. His friend and passenger, Matthew Brew, was also injured and remains hospitalized.
"All there is is speculation right now. The rumor I heard right now is that the police officer was chasing somebody down and he ran into him," said Dewitt's uncle, Joe Novak.
The Evergreen Park police officer, who has been with the department for nearly four years, was also injured in the wreck. He was eastbound on 95th Street in pursuit of a speeder when he collided with Dewitt’s car, which was making a left turn onto westbound 95th Street from Central Park Avenue, the SouthtownStar reported, citing authorities.
It's not known if Dewitt ran a stop sign. Nor is it clear if the officer had his light and siren activated. Police said they were reviewing videotapes from the officer’s car to see what happened.
Dewitt was a senior at Morgan Park High School. He'd attended Marist High School for three years and played football his freshman year there. He was preparing for college.
"He was a sweet kid. He had a big heart. He loved his family. He had a lot of friends. We are all so sick about it," said Linda Novak, Dewitt's grandmother.
Evergreen Park police have turned over the investigation to the Cook County sheriff’s police.
Editor's Note: This article has been updated to clarify facts pertaining to the ongoing investigation into the cause of the crash.