Police said a red or maroon semi truck that was not pulling a trailer struck and killed 17-year-old Choice Taylor as he crossed Algonquin Road in Des Plaines on Friday night.
Taylor's mother said he was walking home after picking up a paycheck from the grocery store where he works. His body was found near Algonquin Road and Third Avenue.
"I didn't expect him to leave home and then be found dead in the street," said mother Lorreene Taylor.
The police department released a description of the vehicle involved-- a red or maroon semi-truck that was not pulling a trailer. Witnesses report the truck was traveling west on Algonquin Road.
"We constantly hear cars screeching to a halt. We have seen several accidents," said neighborhood resident Doris Alicea.
"Whoever did this to my brother, we just want to know what happened, just, please, come forward," said sister Tatiana Lamy.
Some witnesses say that the semi-truck driver pulled over and got out of the truck and looked for damage before leaving the area, but investigators say it is possible that the driver may not have even realized that he hit the teen.
"He knew the area. He knew that street, and I can't understand why he would be so close to the street, why he would be so close to the curb," said Loreene Taylor.
Loreene Taylor named her son Choice, who has a twin brother named Chance, to remind him to make good choices- which, she said, Choice did.
Choice Taylor was in the chess club at Maine West High School. He also worked part time at his neighborhood Jewel-Osco.
"Go to school in the morning, go to work when he was supposed to go to work. He would go to church. That's even without my prompting. And he would go to the library," said Loreene Taylor, who organized pictures Monday on a poster board with messages to her son from his friends.
"A really nice guy, he helped everybody," said Tyler Auch, student at Maine West.
The principal at Maine West in Des Plaines said grief counselors were available to talk to kids about the loss of their well-known friend.
"Everyone remembers Choice for his smile, seemed like his mission was to walk around and make everybody else happy. So when we think about him, we do smile and remember him that way," said Dr. Audrey Haugan, principal, Maine West High School.
Choice Taylor's mother says he will be remembered for being a gentleman.
"I loved his spirit. He was a giving person, unselfish, and got to love that," she said.
Loreene Taylor pleaded for the driver to come forward so she can have answers but said she is not looking for revenge. She says she would ask prosecutors to be as lenient as possible.
"That person needs to heal, too. When you realize you killed someone, especially when it was an accident, they need to heal, too," said Loreene Taylor.