It was an emotional scene at Oriole Park on Chicago’s Northwest Side on Monday night, as children and adults alike gathered for a tearful tribute to a family devastated by a fatal McHenry Crash over the weekend.
The Dobosz family was riding in a van on Interstate 90 on their way to a family trip to Minnesota at approximately 2:11 a.m. Sunday when a wrong-way driver slammed into their vehicle, according to police.
Lauren Dobosz and her four children – Emma, 13, Lucas, 7, Nicholas, 6, and Ella, 5, all died in the crash, along with two other victims, according to police. Thomas Dobosz, Lauren’s husband, was driving the van, and suffered serious injuries in the crash.
Lauren was a cheer coach with the Oriole Park Falcons, and the entire family was active with the organization.
“They were amazing,” Ryan Love, cheer director for the Falcons, said. “And they were an amazing love themselves. They were such an inspiring couple.”
Emma’s friend Neylisa Zenino was also at the vigil.
“Emma was the best person you could ever ask for,” she said.
Lucas played for the Falcons, touching the lives of friends and coaches alike.
“I coached Lucas last year, and one season made a huge impact on my life,” coach Luis Hernandez said. “(Recently) he said ‘coach, I can’t wait to come back from Minnesota, I can’t wait to practice.’”
Ryan Love says that the entire organization is praying for Thomas’ recovery.
“I know we’re all praying for Coach Tom, but he might need a little more than that,” he said.
Donations are being accepted through the Rolling Meadows Hope Fund, as well as a GoFundMe for the family.
Meanwhile, a community is left to mourn the gaping loss that the tragedy has left in its wake.