Teen Dies After Car Hits Tree In Arlington Heights

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (CBS) — A 16-year-old boy was killed when the car he was riding in slammed into a tree early Thursday morning, while driving on a wet and snowy road in Arlington Heights.

Arlington Heights police and fire crews responded to a crash in the 400 block of South Windsor Drive around 12:40 a.m. Thursday, police said. A 2000 Hyundai Sonata had struck a large tree in the parkway, trapping the front seat passenger inside.

Paramedics assisted the 16-year-old driver while fire crews used rescue tools to cut off the car’s roof and pull out the passenger, who was unconscious.

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An ambulance took the passenger, who suffered severe injuries, to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. He was pronounced dead shortly before 8 a.m., police said.

Officials have identified the victim as John Gavin, 16, of Arlington Heights.

A preliminary investigation determined the driver, a 16-year-old Arlington Heights resident, was driving slightly above the 25 mph speed limit and failed to negotiate a bend in the road. The car veered off the road and slammed into a tree on the passenger’s side.

Both boys were wearing their seat belts and air bags deployed as designed, police said.

At the time of the crash, there were intermittent snow flurries and the street was wet, police said.

Alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the crash and no traffic citations or criminal charges have been filed as of 1 p.m., but the crash remained under investigation.

Police said that the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office would review the case on Friday.

  • roc

    Not to be mean but what happened to curfew?

    • Jenn

      John Gavin was my dear friend’s nephew. The Gavins are a loving, caring family who has raised their children to be responsible, empathetic solid world citizens. This accident could have happened to anyone, anywhere of any age. Let us pray for peace and light for the Gavin family; they would surely do the same for us.

  • iris

    So sad. My condolences to the family. RIP. child.

  • not me

    this is sad but i can’thelp but wonder why a 16 year old was out at 12:40 am…..

    • Chris hanes

      He was with me and a bunch of his other friends hanging out having fun like normal kids do

  • Che

    I feel bad for the family. Question though: Why are they saying that they were only going a little over 25 when they crashed? 1) How do they know? 2) If they were travleing only a little over 25, why was the accident so bad? Had to have been moving fast in order to take that childs life. Oh, and I agree, what happened to the curfew?

  • cutie

    this is very sad may god bless these two young men and there families

  • Marika1970

    I’m just curious, does the State of Illinois have a graduated licensing system? For example a person would have to pass the written before being allowed to drive with a learners permit. However, the this type of permit they would have to by law drive with a experienced driver in the car that would sit in the front seat. This way the inexperienced driver would be supervised reducing the chance of having an accident. In the Province of Ontario has this law and on top of this, it is about a period between 8 months to a year. Time is reduced to 8 months if the learner went to driving school which would also reduced the cost of insurance. After this waiting period, the driver has to pass another test in order to drive independently. However, there is some restrictions involved in this step before you go for yet another test in order to graduate to a full license. The new drivers are not to have alcohol in their system, including being under the legal limit as there is zero tolerance for it. The laws are very strict up here where I live. No more the good old days where you pass your written and a couple of weeks later you pass your driving test to full rights on the road.

    • Marika1970

      Sorry, I forgot to mention my condolences to the family, may your son RIP.

  • Che

    We do have laws like yours. Unfortnately no one pays attention to them. – Until things like this happen. How unfortunate

  • TO

    I don’t know where the picture for this article came from, but that is not the car involved in the accident and the damage was substantially more on the passenger’s side of the car. I prayed that the boy would survive but it was not to be. His friend stayed with him until the police came — never left him. I’m praying for him now.

  • An

    Schools in Arlington Hts are on Spring Break this week, therefore, kids will be out later then normal.

    • Mo

      Thank you, btw I am a person in Arlington heights and even this morning the roads were slippery. Also, it snowed at around 10 PM last night. Therefore, that weather leads to slippery roads.

  • Rest In Peace

    As a teenager who has gone through this type of situation with the loss of my cousin, some of you people should be ashamed of your comments. It was an accident. The age doesn’t matter, the time doesn’t matter. The boy was a licensed driver and he skidded off the road. This could have happened at 7pm, but it happened at midnight. It makes no difference.
    Reading comments that are too concerned with the law that “could have prevented this” disgust me.
    The fact of the matter is that this accident took the life of a young, sweet boy far before he should have gone.
    All we need now are comments of condolences, respect, and grief towards this tragedy.
    My thoughts and prayers will forever be with the Gavin family as they grieve.

    • Dena

      I agree. This is a tragedy! It is a tremendous family. Kids don’t realize that their little bit of fun can result in this horrific accident. It could have happened to anyone. I will take the time to talk to my kids about this. Hopefully, we can all pass on a little information to our children so that another accident may be prevented.
      My thoughts and prayers are with the Gavin family. I can’t even imagine their grief.

  • Judi

    Thank you “Rest In Peace”. I travel daily with my 10 & 12 year old daily. I just thank God for coming and going. It could truly happen to any of us. My sincerest condolences to the family and friends.

  • yyup

    My neighbor. RIP

  • Cindy

    My heart is broken for the Gavin family. A tragedy and so very, very sad. My daughter went to school with John and I know his mother casually. What a happy, nice and friendly woman she is. I feel so incredibly bad for her and her family. My prayers go out to them and to John that he finds eternal peace, happiness and love with our Lord. A extremely sad day in our community.

  • roc

    A family counselor, who had to be talked to because I have a fifteen year old who sometimes likes to live on the edge, told me that “nothing good happens after midnight”. As a parent we have to always be on top of what our kids are doing that late at night. Curfew or not, it’s our jobs. I am truly sorry.

  • Diane

    If you have nothing to say that will let the family know that you are thinking of them and praying for them…kindly say nothing at all. This isn’t a forum for your parenting advise. My thoughts and prayers are with you forever Gavin family.

  • roc

    Diane, when did you become the leader. These people are parenting because that’s what we need to do so it doesn’t happen again. Don’t you get it. So it doesn’t happen again, to another family. Wake up.

  • Diane

    not a leader..just a friend

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  • Star

    Roc – “Don’t you get it”? It was an accident and had nothing at all to do with curfew. Diane is right – if you have nothing nice to say to the family, say nothing at all.

  • Frank & Colette Melchiorre

    reading the paper the other morning seeing this horrific accident in the daily harold made me so sad….not to mention I recieved a call from my husband saying remember that accedient we read about I said yes he said you know the necklace made for our 6 year old son back when he was born i said yes then he said the one that reads frankie with blocks and a football on the end i said yes he said the necklace that still hangs on frankies wall and we always used to say daddy’s friends son made that for you and to this day our son frankie says mommy i wish i knew the boy that made this for me :( and i used to say maybe one day buddy… well that’s john gavin we are so very sad about this and want the gavin family to know that the melchiorre family will always hold a little piece of him forever i am so very sorry for your loss although i know frankie will meet him in heaven for sure wearing his necklace your special son made ours… our thoughts and prayers forever and ever frank and colette melchiorre

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  • tim

    Some car accidents not accidental Accidents caused by driving too fast for conditions on icy roads are not really accidents at all. They are crashes that could have been prevented if the driver of the vehicle were not so selfish as to disregard the law and drive at speeds too fast for conditions and risks the chance of injuring themselves and others.

  • kris

    my son goes to the same school with the boys. they are all great kids and this was just an accident. i’m really praying for both families and especially for the boy that was driving. may be we should learn something good from Europe where the kids can get a license at 18 and the driving courses are between 3-6 months.

  • M.Jayatunga

    Why do people say ‘Thank God! when some one is saved . But no ‘curse you God ! when some one dies?

    Do not thank or curse God for things that you and only you are responsible for committing.

    M.Jayatunga- Colombo-Sri Lanka

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