Community mourns and calls for safety improvements after 9-year-old Hershel Weinberger was hit and killed while cycling in West Rogers Park


CHICAGO (CBS) – The close-knit community of West Rogers Park remembered a 9-year-old boy on Thursday who was killed while riding his bike the night before.

As reported by CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar, Hershel Weinberger was struck by a van at the intersection of Sacramento and Chase avenues on Wednesday at 8 p.m., a short walk from his home. It seemed like an extremely traumatic accident, and family and friends said a change was needed at the intersection.

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Ruth Wait works at the school Hershel attended and is a friend of the family.

“He was coming home from a friend’s house and the truck arrived,” Wait said.

Hershel was driving east on the north sidewalk along Chase Avenue when the crash occurred. As he was crossing Sacramento Avenue, the Toyota pickup truck – driven by a 48-year-old man and heading north – struck him as he entered the crosswalk.

The driver of the van stayed behind and cooperated with the police. Meanwhile, Hershel was taken to AMITA Health St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he died.

“Very energetic, sweet, big smile, a really bright friendly face,” Wait said. “It’s like heartbreaking. The whole thing is heartbreaking. “

“I saw him riding a bike, yes. I saw the family outside, ”said Katherine Romb, Hershel’s family neighbor. “It’s a tragedy, really. It is a very busy street and unfortunately a lot of cars do not stop at the stop sign.

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“You can just see it,” Wait added. “I mean, you can just stay here, and yeah, it happens all the time.”

Wait said she saw cars speeding up.

“Speed ​​up, go through stop signs,” she said.

As this community close to West Rogers Park has begun to mourn and comfort Hershel’s family, there is hope this accident will bring about a change.

“I think the most important thing we can do as a community is to take action and try to do whatever it takes to comfort their families first, and two, make it a preventable circumstance in our community, ”Wait said.

The driver of the car that struck Hershel was ticketed for failing to exercise caution with a pedestrian on the roadway.

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A GoFundMe has been set up for the Hershel family.

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