Reporting Lisa Fielding
Updated: 11/7/10 8:23 p.m.
DES PLAINES, Ill. (CBS) – Information from witnesses to a hit-and-run crash that killed a high school student in northwest suburban Des Plaines on Friday indicates that the vehicle that hit the teen is a dull red or maroon semi-tractor, Des Plaines police said Sunday.
Choice Taylor, 17, was struck by a vehicle on Algonquin Rd. in Des Plaines and pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m. Friday at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
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Witnesses indicated the tractor pulled to the side of the road and the driver exited to inspect it for damage before leaving the area, police said.
“It is possible the driver of the tractor did not observe any damage and never realized a pedestrian had been struck,” police said in a statement Sunday.
Taylor was a senior at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, according to a statement on the school’s website. Counseling services will be available to students and staff beginning Monday and into the week as needed.
A Facebook page was created in his memory, according to Maine West. Early Sunday, the page had more than 1,000 “likes” and a 100 wall posts.
One post read, “Choice was so special. He will be greatly missed. He was so kind hearted and sweet.” Another said, “R.I.P. Choice Taylor you were such a sweet guy who didn’t deserve any of this … ”
Taylor, 17, was found lying in the road in the 900 block of East Algonquin Road in Des Plaines about 6:20 p.m., according to a Des Plaines police release. Police said the teen was struck in the westbound lanes, about 50 feet east of 3rd Avenue.
A Saturday autopsy confirmed Taylor died of multiple injuries from a vehicle striking a pedestrian, according to the medical examiner’s office. His death was ruled an accident.
The driver fled before police were contacted, police said.
Taylor’s family talked to the media hoping his killer would hear their plea.
“I ask the person to come forward,” Lorene Taylor, the victim’s mother, told CBS 2′s Mai Martinez Saturday. “I’m not looking for any revenge. I’m not looking for any money. I’m not looking for any jail time. I’m not looking, (I) just want some closure, that’s all.”
Taylor’s mother is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the person responsible for her son’s death.
“I truly think that it was an accident, but it turned into a crime when they left,” Lorene Taylor said. “They could have just stopped and offered him some help.”
Police are asking anyone with information to call detectives at 1-847-391-5400 or text an anonymous tip by beginning the message with “ICARE,” and sending the message to “CRIMES” or “274637.″
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.