Family speaks about legacy of Chicago drummer killed in DLSD crash in Gold Coast

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, January 22, 2024
Family speaks about legacy of Chicago musician killed in DLSD crash
Ralph Schaeffer was a father of a 2-year-old daughter and a Chicago musician who has played the drums for well-known bands, his family told ABC7.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The family of a Chicago drummer who was killed in a crash on DuSable Lake Shore Drive in the Gold Coast Thursday morning is speaking out.

Raphel Schaeffer's family spoke to ABC7 about the loving father and his legacy in the music community.

Police responded at about 3:08 a.m. Thursday to the crash in the 1300-block of North DuSable Lake Shore Drive.

Schaeffer was the driver of an SUV that was traveling southbound when he struck the shoulder, ejecting him from the vehicle, police said. He was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where he later died, police said.

Schaeffer's younger brother, Ontario Glenn, was a passenger in the car and sustained minor injuries.

Glenn and Schaeffer were coming home from a musical gathering drum session. Schaeffer lost control of the vehicle while it was snowing and the roads were slippery, Glenn said.

Brittany Smith, the mother of Schaeffer's two-year-old daughter, said Schaeffer has played the drums for well-known bands, and he has gone on tour in Europe.

"I want Z to know how great her dad was," Smith said. "I want her to known how talented he was, how creative he was. He was literally a genius... he changed my life so much."

Schaeffer was one of six siblings.

The family has set up a GoFundMe page.