CHICAGO (CBS) — Call it fate that brought two families together recently on the Southwest Side.
Last week, a sport-utility vehicle was hit by a speeding stolen van and flipped over. A group of bystanders came together and used their bare hands to flip the vehicle back upright.
On Thursday night, the woman in that SUV and her young daughter went back to the scene thank the men who came to their rescue.
CBS 2’s Jermont Terry was there.
“I can keep saying grateful, but it’s an understatement,” said Amber Boyd
Video showing neighbors rushing to free a family trapped inside a sport-utility vehicle leaves so many people hopeful. But emotions were more complex for Boyd and her daughter, as they came back to where the traumatizing event that preceded it all happened.
“It’s hard being right here,” Boyd said. “You know, my car was just flipped there a week ago.”
Boyd and her daughter were riding in a sport-utility vehicle with her husband when a van ran a red light at 51st Street and Lawndale Avenue in the West Elsdon community, and sideswiped them.
“The next thing I knew, we were flipped upside-down,” Boyd said.
The entire family was trapped. The van slammed into the side that little Lilliana was sitting on and airbags deployed – yet the driver never stopped.
“How are you sleeping at night knowing you left a child there?” Boyd said. “Like, that would be my main thing.”
Boyd is troubled by that fact, but uplifted by the strangers who came to rescue them using only their physical strength.
“It doesn’t make up for what he did,” she said. “It makes it that much easier these people cared enough to come out and help us.”
In the crowd were 15-year-old Isaac Terrazas and his stepdad, James. Amber and Lillian Boyd wanted to meet and offer a simple gesture.
They received hugs from strangers who showed compassion.
“I’m just happy you guys are OK and the baby too,” Isaac Terrazas said.
Lilliana is OK, but was quick to let Isaac know she’s no baby – holding up four fingers for her four years of age.
As Boyd held Lilliana’s hand tight, she emphasized that he is forever indebted to everyone in the community.
“And that’s the main thing,” she said. “It doesn’t matter – race, age, anything. It doesn’t matter. We all need to help each other, and that’s the main thing.”
Terrazas and his stepdad were just as excited to meet and see Lilliana and her mom Thursday night.
As for the police investigation into the crash, the driver remained at large Thursday night. Boyd hoped the driver might surrender upon finding out a child was in the car.