Police say a pickup truck ran a red light and hit the car carrying the two boys. The accident happened at Route 12 and Old McHenry Road near Wauconda.
Griffin Shirey, 10, was riding with his father and twin brother. Griffin died at Good Shepherd Hospital. His brother, Nicholas, was airlifted to Advocate Lutheran General. Their father, Scott Shirey, is in stable condition.
The truck also crashed into two other vehicles following the initial impact.
"There is a 10-year-old who lost his life. How does anyone deal with that? It affects us all," said Deputy Chief Kevin Parker, Lake County Sheriff's Office.
Lake County sheriff's officers say the Shireys were traveling southbound on Route 12. Their Lincoln Continental was trying to turn left onto Old McHenry Road near Wauconda when a pickup truck, filled with roofing materials, coming in the opposite direction apparently ran a red light and slammed into the family's car.
"They describe a horrific scene with roofing shingles littering the highway, destruction of both vehicles," said Parker.
A fifth grader at Cotton Creek Elementary in Island Lake, Griffin played baseball and enjoyed swimming. The boys' neighbors tell ABC7 the community is close-knit and they are all in mourning.
"We used to have good times together all the time. They are good people, good kids," said Rob Hudec, neighbor.
"I used to babysit them. I played basketball with them many times. Always used to play around with them. And it's just sad," said Steven Hudec, neighbor.
Lake County Sheriff Mike Curran says the 29-year-old driver of the truck that caused the accident submitted to a DUI kit and a urinalysis. But despite early reports that the driver admitted to prior drug use, investigators believe he was not intoxicated at the time of the crash and say it's too early to determine whether any charges will be filed.
"We are waiting on the urine sample. We have to interview all the witnesses. We need to reconstruct the scene so that we can determine speeds as best we can. And once we present all that to state's attorney they will make the ultimate decision," said Curran.
The accident happened at the same intersection where a motorcyclist was struck and killed by a driver who was painting her nails while driving back in 2009.