'He is the sweetest kid': Father of boy, 12, critically injured in Deerfield hit-and-run pleads for driver to come forward

DEERFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- A family is now offering a $10,000 reward in the hit and run that critically injured their 12-year-old son in Deerfield on Friday night.

The family of Chase Thompson promised that the $10,000 will go toward the offender's legal expenses if the driver turns him or herself in.

Police said the boy was struck Friday night at about 7:10 p.m. in the area of Deerfield Road and Beverly Place. Police arrived on the scene and found the boy unresponsive in the roadway with extensive injuries and the vehicle that struck him fled the scene, police said.

The boy was transported to Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and then transferred to Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, where he remains in critical condition and medically sedated.

"I feel like it is my fault because I let this happen to my kid," Thad Thompson, father.

RELATED: Boy, 12, critically injured in Deerfield hit-and-run; police searching for suspect

Chase's father said he suffered broken bones, injuries to his lungs and facial trauma.

"I love him more than anything in the world," Thompson said. "He is the sweetest kid. He tries so hard to be good. But I never have had a conversation with him because he is nonverbal and does not understand much of things."

A stock image of a Ford Escape, similar to the one police said hit a 12-year-old boy in Deerfield.



Thompson said Chase, a sixth grader, has autism and is nonverbal. He said the boy managed to escape from the home without the family noticing before the crash.

"He ran out into the street in his bare feet with his fingers in his ears. He just didn't know what was going on," Thompson said. "It happened in a matter of seconds."

Police believe the vehicle involved was a dark colored 2013-16 Ford Escape, possibly with heavy damage to the passenger side headlight and fender areas. Detectives found pieces of the SUV, which has a titanium trim, in the road.

The boy's family is not blaming the driver for the crash, but for leaving their son.

"The driver who hit him, you did nothing wrong until you left. Our son came from behind the bushes. Unless they were impaired or on their phone, they did not have a chance," Thompson said.

Thompson told ABC7 that the SUV that hit his son was caught on a neighbor's home surveillance camera. Detectives are now reviewing the footage.

In the meantime, Thompson hopes the driver will do the right thing and go to police.

"We understand that this was an accident," Thompson said. "You made a massive mistake in a moment of fear."

"A big part of the reason we need you to come forward is the insurance," he added. "If you don't come forward, Chase's future medical bills are going to be a lot more difficult for us to handle."

Deerfield Public Schools District 109 said counselors will be available in schools to talk to any students who need help.



Anyone with information is asked to contact the Deerfield Police Department at (847)-945-8636.
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