Boy Dead, Father in Coma After Being Hit by Semi

A 6-year-old boy is dead and his father is in critical condition after a semi truck struck them as they attempted to cross a Pilsen street Friday afternoon.

Antonio Vasquez, 45, and his son Kevin Vasquez were hit by a semi traveling southbound on Ashland Avenue between West 18th and West 19th streets as they tried to cross four lanes of traffic at around 3 p.m.

There is no traffic control at the intersection of Ashland and 18th Place, which is steps away from Cooper Elementary Dual Language Academy.  Neighbors said they often see schoolchildren crossing across the street there instead of using the controlled intersection and crosswalk a block farther down on Ashland. 

A similar incident happened a few blocks down the road a few years ago, residents said, adding that they feared another accident was bound to happen.

"There's no crossing guard and kids want to cross, and there's cars going down here like 40, 50 miles per hour," witness Justin Cordero said.

The two were taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, where the boy was later pronounced dead in the trauma center at 3:38 p.m.

Antonio Vasquez was in an induced coma Friday night with family members at his bedside.

The truck driver remained on the scene and the police department's Major Accident Investigation Unit was investigating.

Copyright CHIST - SunTimes
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