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Man killed in Clearing ATV crash identified

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052516-wls-atv-1135a-vid (WLS)

A 49-year-old man killed in an ATV crash in Chicago's Clearing neighborhood, just west of Midway International Airport, was identified.

Officers found Jose A. Torres, of the 6100-block of South McVicker Avenue, unconscious in the intersection of West 62nd Street and South Austin Avenue, lying next to his all-terrain vehicle.

Police said the four-wheeler flipped over after he ran a stop sign and crashed into an SUV around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Torres was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m., the Cook County medical examiner's office said.

His wife, Donna, is devastated by her husband's death. As of Wednesday morning, she hadn't yet told her 10-year-old son, who went to school before his mother was notified.

"Knowing that his father is not going be there anymore is going take a toll on him. They were so close to each other. It just hurts my heart," Donna Torres said.

After speaking to two eyewitnesses, police said Torres was at fault. They don't plan to issue a ticket to the other driver, who was not hurt in the crash. But Torres' sister believes her brother was the one who was hit - not the other way around.

"He blew the stop sign. But since my brother is not here to defend himself, now he's dead," Carmen Torres said.

Neighbors said Torres was one of the best guys on their block. His friend, Zachary Nabb, placed a small memorial on the sidewalk near the crash site.

"He was a solid guy. He deserved to live a longer life than what he just lived," Nabb said.

He said Torres did odd jobs, worked on cars, helped other neighbors in need.

"I recently was at his house, two days ago. In his garage, he had everything imaginable for kids. That's the type of guy he was. He gave me a scooter for my daughter and he gave me a wagon. I've already used that wagon. I've taken that wagon to the zoo," Nabb said.

Police said Torres was not wearing a helmet. By Illinois law, he was not required to.

"I wish he would have had a helmet. He didn't have a helmet," Carmen Torres said.

The only laws governing all-terrain vehicle use in the state say riders must have a title and are restricted on some roadways. Chicago police said ATV owners can operate on private property, but it is illegal to use them on city streets.
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