CPD locates vehicle involved in Albany Park hit-and-run that killed toddler; driver at large

Albany Park crash killed 18-month-old Hermes Cardona-Rios, Chicago police have said

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Wednesday, October 5, 2022
Vehicle involved in deadly Albany Park hit-and-run located: CPD
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CPD said they have located the vehicle involved in an Albany Park hit-and-run crash that killed Hermes Cardona-Rios near Wilson and Pulaski.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The vehicle suspected of killing a toddler Monday in Albany Park has been located, but the driver remains at large, Chicago police said.

Police did not release where the pickup truck was found, just that the investigation remains ongoing.

Chicago police previously released photos Monday night of a vehicle they said was involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a toddler earlier that day in Albany Park.

CPD issued a community alert in the hopes that someone would be able to identify the pickup truck they say hit the 18-month-old boy and kept going.

Chicago police said a dark two-toned Ford pickup hit Hermes Cardona-Rios just before 1:30 p.m. Monday, near Pulaski Road and Wilson Avenue.

The family of an 18-month-old boy is pleading with the hit-and-run driver who struck and killed thier son Monday to turn himself in.

The boy was being put in the back of a white Toyota Rav 4 right before the incident, according to CPD.

The family had just finished eating at Ruby's Fast Food when the incident occurred.

"They were waiting on extra food that we ordered, so I took him out to get him in the car," said his father, Gerardo Cardona. "I put the stuff in the car and turned around, and he wasn't there."

The child was not secured into the car and got out, walked into the street and was struck by a pickup truck, police said.

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The child was taken to Lurie Children's Hospital in critical condition where he was pronounced dead, according to CPD. His parents are devastated.

"He was fighting for his life in my stomach. Now, to lose him again, it's just like... I've lost hope," said his mother Jocelyn Rios. "Losing a child is losing a part of you that could never be replaced."

Workers at the restaurant said they rushed outside to find the child's mother holding him and screaming for help. The owner of Ruby's said they gave police surveillance video of the crash.

A memorial is growing where the child was hit.

People have been bringing balloons and candles to the scene, including those who don't even know the family.

Rios said she didn't know what to do without her son.

"I cannot see him no more, feel him. That's what I do. I feel him every single day next to me, and that's now gone," she said.

A GoFundMe to pay for the child's funeral costs had raised over $1,000 by Tuesday morning.

A vigil was held near the crash site Tuesday afternoon.

"As you would imagine, most 18-month-olds, how they are curious about things. He pretty much really was a mother's boy. He loved to be up under his mother. It was not hardly any time I saw him that he wasn't on her hip. The same with his father," Khalid Jordan said.

No one is currently in custody. An investigation is ongoing.

The family is pleading with the driver to come forward.

"And to the person who committed this tragic accident, please, if you have any type of conscious or heart, please turn yourself in," Jordan said.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Major Accident Investigation Unit at 312-745-4521. Anonymous tips can be submitted at cpdtip.com.