CHICAGO (CBS) — Demetrius Hendricks and Christopher Henderson died after driving into the Calumet River on Nov. 4 of last year during heavy rainfall.
There are no signs posted at E. 136th Street and S. Calhoun Avenue warning drivers that the road ends and a boat launch at Sunset Bay Marina begins.
Latonya Simunjak, the mother of one of the victims, has filed a lawsuit against the marina.
“Every day I have nightmares,” she said. “I just want to know who is responsible for the loss of my son.”
The City of Chicago owns East 136th Street all the way to the boat ramp that leads straight into the Calumet River.
Simunjak struggles recalling her son Devontae Searcy’s last moments because she knows he “couldn’t swim.”
A sign posted at the marina says, “Parking for Lighthouse Bar & Grill and SBM launch customers only. Maximum 6 hour parking unless a launch pass is present.”
“Somebody has to answer for the fact that it looks like a private company was charging public citizens to use that boat ramp,” Attorney Michael Mertz said. “I think that the signage shows at least some control by the marina over that boat ramp.”
CBS 2 attempted to contact a trucking company also owned by Sunset Bay Marina.
Owner Bill Pacella responded to a call and said the city owns the ramp. He said he never uses the ramp because it’s too small.
“I don’t want anybody else to go through what I’m going through, because this was a situation should have never happened,” Simunjak said. “Never.”