Victims’ Families Call For Safety Upgrades 1 Year After Car Plunged Into Calumet River

Two men died when the car they were riding in plunged into the Calumet River in Nov. 2018

The families of two men who died one year ago when their vehicle plunged into the Calumet River on Chicago's Far South Side gathered on Monday to demand local leaders improve safety on the road where the men died.

Devontae Searcy, 23, and Demetrius Hendricks, 26, died when the car they were riding in went into the river near the 13600 block of South Calhoun Street in November of 2018. A third person survived. 

The three reportedly got lost while driving in the rain, and ended up driving in the water at the boat launch at Sunset Bay Marina. 

Still, one year later, no gates, barriers and warning signs have been put up in the area where their vehicle entered the river. 

"...At the end is a ramp right into the water," Shawnda Searcy, Devontae Searcy's cousin, said Monday night. "This is what they need to fix. They need to put something here." 

The family of the man who survived also echoed calls for justice.

"This is a year later, and still nothin' here," said Veronica Henderson, the survivor's mother. 

Family members said they don't want what happened to their loved ones to happen to anybody else. 

"...It don't take that much to put a gate up there," said relative Sherice Macon. "Put two! It could be somebody else's child."

In an email about the situation, a spokeswoman for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she couldn't "comment on ongoing litigation."

NBC 5 reached out to Sunset Bay Marina for a response, and hadn't heard back as of Monday night. 

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