CHICAGO (CBS) – Mourners paid their final respects on Tuesday to a pregnant mother and her three sons killed last week in a horrific car crash.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot is in Crete for the final farewells.
A somber procession into Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete took place Tuesday as two communities come together, as one to mourn 29-year-old Lindsey Schmidt and her three young sons. Schmidt and her boys died after a tragic crash at an intersection in Beecher. Schmidt, who was also four months pregnant, was on her way to a church bible camp.
CBS: What do you tell people trying to cope with this?
“Well I have a lot of questions and sometimes we don’t have answers to those,” said Reverend Frank Italiano, Trinity Lutheran Church.
Rev. Frank Italiano has known Schmidt and her family for nearly two decades.
“The answers we do have is what Jesus has done for us. He died for Lindsey and those kids and he rose and he promises that we too will rise and that family will rise from the dead too. They have heaven. That is their home,” he said.
Police said the 25-year-old driver, involved in the crash, went through a stop sign. Sources said cell phone records are being looked at to see if the driver was texting. Sources also said the vehicle was on cruise control and the driver had no obstructed views from the low-lying fields surrounding the intersection.
White ribbons embrace the trees around the family’s church and throughout the community, as a show of support for the Schmidt family.
“I have never had so many phone calls, emails and Facebook messages in my life,” Rev. Italiano said.
Some local businesses, like Benton St. Bakery Cafe, have donated a portion of a day’s proceeds, to the Schmidt Family Fund.
“Our total was $800,” said Terry Mabs, Benton St. Bakery Café. “As a community, if you can relieve that financial burden, at least, it shows that everyone is caring about them.”
Meantime, police said sadly that there have been people trying to profit from this family’s tragedy by creating fake GoFundMe sites. Police said the only place receiving donations Schmidt Family Memorial Fund is First Community Bank and Trust at the Beecher or Peotone locations. Donors can also mail checks to their PO Box.
Hundreds of people in south suburban Beecher gathered last Wednesday night to pay their respects and hold a vigil for the Schmidt family.