CHICAGO (CBS) — A driver was issued several traffic citations, and criminal charges were pending, after running a stop sign and killing a 2-year-old boy who was crossing the street with his mother in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on Sunday.
Teddy bears and candles sit near the spot where Noah Katz was killed Sunday afternoon.
Noah and his mother were crossing Central Avenue when a driver made a left turn from Giddings Street and struck them around 4:10 p.m.
The toddler was pronounced dead at the scene. His mother was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, but police said her injuries were not life-threatening.
Police said the driver who hit Noah and his mother did not obey the stop sign at Giddings and Central.
Neighbors said signs informing drivers to yield to pedestrians at that intersection have not been effective. They argue more stop signs in the area might have slowed traffic and prevented Noah’s death.
“I just don’t understand why we can’t have a stop sign, and I don’t understand why a 2-year-old gorgeous little tiny guy had to be killed like that. I don’t get it. I mean, what does it take? I guess we’ll see if that’s what it took,” Sharon Sands said.
People who live nearby felt compelled to visit Noah’s memorial on Monday.
“My daughter is 9 years old. She’s like, ‘Mom, let’s just give the teddy bear for the little boy, because Christmas is coming,’” Tiffany Calderon said. “It’s devastating and heartbreaking for a mother.”
A spokesman for Ald. John Arena (45th) said the alderman has worked to improve traffic issues on Central Avenue for years. The alderman’s office was waiting to learn more information about the crash, but has reached out to the Chicago Department of Transportation to discuss safety issues in the area again.
Police said the driver was taken into custody after the crash, and issued five traffic citations; including one for failure to stop at a stop sign, two for failure to reduce speed, and two for failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Criminal charges were pending, according to police.