A family is left to grieve and two young children are left without a father after a 25-year-old man was killed in a hit-and-run crash while riding his motorcycle in Portage Park on Saturday.
TJ Kapan was riding in the neighborhood when he was struck by a sedan. He was taken to an area hospital and later died, while the driver of the sedan remains at-large.
Kapan’s brother Yusuf says he is absolutely devastated by the loss the family has suffered, and that he had just spoken to his sibling at the family’s restaurant on Saturday.
“He was happy,” he recalled. “He’s like ‘yes, I get to ride my bike today.’ He was ecstatic.”
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According to police, Kapan was riding his motorcycle east on Irving Park Road near Lockwood Avenue at approximately 7:55 p.m. when a 2003 BMW sedan turned left onto Lockwood, striking the bike.
Kapan was taken to Illinois Masonic, where he was pronounced dead.
The driver of the BMW fled the scene, and is still at-large, according to authorities.
Ladyanna Barajas, the mother of Kapan’s two children, is speaking out after the crash.
“I’m in denial. I’m in all sorts of denial,” she said. “I’m at home and just waiting for him to come up the stairs.”
Barajas says that after the crash, the driver rushed to the backseat of the sedan to grab a child, and then fled the scene.
“I get it. You cared about your kid, but you left my kids without a father,” she said.
Yusuf Kapan said that the driver in the case took a young, bright light away from the world.
“He had a heart of gold. That’s the type of man that he was,” he said.
Yusuf says that he will try to help care for his brother’s two children, trying to fill a void that he says he knows he can never completely fill.
“I’m just trying to be strong for my family, and for my mother and my father and the kids,” he said. “I have to take on his role and I will never amount to that.”
The family says they can cover the funeral expenses, but have set up a GoFundMe to help provide for the needs of Kapan’s two young children.