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17-Year-Old Charged With Reckless Homicide, Accused Of Trying To ‘Go Airborne’ In Hickory Hills Crash That Killed 4 Teenagers

<i>WBBM</i><br/>A memorial set up on Sunday
A memorial set up on Sunday

By Web Staff

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    HICKORY HILLS, Illinois (WBBM) — A teen driver has been charged with reckless homicide, after four fellow teenagers were killed in a grisly crash in southwest suburban Hickory Hills over the weekend, after police said the driver tried to “go airborne” over a hill.

Six people were in the 2008 Mercedes SUV, which hit a tree and split in two on 89th Street at 86th Court around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Two of the victims were pronounced dead on the scene, and two more also later died from their injuries.

All the victims who died were teenagers from southwest suburban Justice: 17-year-old Omarion Rieves, 17-year-old Nathaniel Phillips, 16-year-old Destiny Giera, and 15-year-old Jemerrio Rieves.

Monday afternoon, Hickory Hills Police said the 17-year-old driver has been charged as a juvenile with reckless homicide, and also faces traffic citations. The driver’s name is not being released due to their age.

Police said it appeared the driver was trying to “go airborne over the crest of the hill at 86th.”

“After travelling through the intersection at 86th Avenue, the vehicle did go airborne, as described by a witness,” police said in a statement.

People who live in the neighborhood said the car must have been going at an extremely high rate of speed when it hit a tree and split in two, but police have yet to say exactly how fast it was going.

Sunday was an emotional day and evening at the scene. There were balloon release and separate candlelight vigils for the victims – each another reminder of the sheer number of lives young lost.

Memorials were also set up with candles, plush toys, boxes of favorite breakfast cereal. And the crash has left behind deep scars.

It was around 2:30 p.m. Saturday when 17-year-old Nathan Phillips’ father was having a hard time reaching him.

“I started calling him. I’m like, ‘Maybe his phone is dead,’” said Kenneth Roberts.

He would later be the one to tell the rest of his family that his 17-year-old son would not be coming home.

“They miss him dearly right now – and when we broke the news last night, it was kind of devastating,” Roberts said.

Roberts said Phillips appeared to be a passenger in the car. He shared a photo of their last trip together as father and son.

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