Man sought in deadly car-into-house crash

September 28, 2011 (MAYWOOD, Ill.)

The driver of that car was shot just before crashing into the apartment complex. Police have not named or charged the driver, but he is recovering from injuries in the hospital.

"You can't even feel safe in your own home. They can't go to sleep or nothing," said Brittany Hill, victim's friend.

Neighbors of Domonique Thomas, 14, blame violence in their community for her death. She was asleep on the couch when a car came crashing through a wall in the garden unit apartment, crushing her. Her 12-year-old brother asleep nearby was also hurt.

"She was a loving girl, loving girl. She was just starting high school. She just graduated eighth grade last year. She had her whole life ahead of her," said Bryant Thomas, brother of victims.

Dominique was a freshman at Proviso East High School. Crisis counselors are helping students cope with her he death.

"She was a great girl with a great future ahead of her, you know, just by being in programs and trying to do the best that she could do," said Barbara Cole, Maywood Youth Mentoring Program.

The driver told investigators that just before crashing, someone fired shots at the car. A male passenger who was with him ran away after the crash.

"She was so sweet. I think what I liked the most about her is that even if there was something in class that she didn't understand, she never gave up," said Tasha Dudley, victim's fifth grade teacher.

Dudley said she rushed to the family's home after learning about the death.

"She did have a lot of promise. This was her first year of high school. It is very tough," said Dudley.

The 12-year-old boy, the youngest member of the family, remains in the hospital with minor injuries. In the meantime, the memorial at the scene continues to grow for his sister.

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