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Man Killed On Birthday When Teen Crashes Into Pedestrians

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A teen driver tried to flee the scene after hitting three pedestrians at 83rd and Blackstone, crashing into a car, and ending up on the front lawn of a house. (Credit: CBS)

A teen driver tried to flee the scene after hitting three pedestrians at 83rd and Blackstone, crashing into a car, and ending up on the front lawn of a house. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated 09/25/13 – 10:55 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A 32-year-old man was killed on his birthday Tuesday night, when a teen driver crashed into a group of pedestrians in the Avalon Park neighborhood.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports the 17-year-old boy was speeding as he headed south on Blackstone Avenue, when he hit three pedestrians who were standing and talking near the intersection of Blackstone and 83rd Street around 9 p.m.

After the boy struck the victims, he kept going and hit a Pontiac Sunfire, before veering off the road, and crashing into the front of a house. He tried to run away, but police quickly placed him under arrest.

One of the victims, Eugene Ratliff, was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died at 9:45 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Two other victims, 22-year-old Jovan Smith, and a 30-year-old woman, also were hurt, but their injuries were not life-threatening.

Smith said the car that struck them came out of nowhere.

“Next thing you know, we just get ran over. I get hit … I just end up doing some front flip,” Smith said.

The bumper hit his leg, leaving it swollen. Luckily, he has only a limp, and was the least injured of the three.

“She flies all the way on sidewalk. Gene, he’s all the way in the middle of the street,” Smith said.

He tried to do what he could to help Ratliff

“I was like, ‘Gene are you okay? Are you okay? Are you alive?’” Smith said. “He didn’t respond.”

Charges were pending against the teen driver. Police have not said if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

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