Boy, 14 remains hospitalized after 'devastating' crash into Hinsdale Fontano's

Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Prayer service held for Hinsdale teen hurt in crash
Hinsdale police said a Jeep crashed into a Hinsdale Fontano's restaurant injuring five people, including a 14-year-old boy. He was seriously injured.

HINSDALE, Ill. (WLS) -- A 14-year-old boy remains hospitalized after he and four others were injured when a Jeep crashed into a sub shop in Hinsdale Monday.

The teenager was taken to Hinsdale Hospital and later flown to Comer Children's Hospital after suffering critical injuries. Family of the young boy said he had just graduated from St. Issac Jogues.

The crash has been devastating for this community, especially for the St. Isaac Jogues Parish, where the teenage victim and his family belong.

"There's just so many tragic circumstances around this. I know the family from our parish so well. The young man, so well," said Father Burke Masters.

Fr. Burke asked parishioners Tuesday morning to pray for the 14-year-old boy who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

"It was a gut reaction, just deep pain and sadness," Fr. Masters said.

Tuesday night they held a special mass for the boy, rallying through prayer.

"I happened to be at church on Sunday morning where he was an altar server. I sat next to his parents," said parishioner Zoltan Baksay. "I cried. I got a text from my sister at work and I just started bawling."

Baksay said his daughter altar served with the teen, and that his family is extremely dedicated to their faith and the church community.

"I just learned today that he was selected for the Religion Award out of the entire eighth grade class and I hope that speaks to his piety and the faith of the family," he said.

That feeling of sadness rippled through the Hinsdale community Monday after a 14-year-old was among five people seriously hurt when a car slammed into a sub shop.

"It was a scene that I don't know, it's hard," Dominic Fontano, owner of Fontano Subs & Deli. "It's hard to explain. I'm at a loss for words, I'm sorry."

The owner of Fontano's Subs said surveillance video shows a Jeep coming out of Fuller's Carwash across the street and crashing straight into the restaurant.

"It's devastating. It really is, especially as a grandparent," Fontano said.

Hinsdale authorities said five people were hurt.

One customer was treated on the scene and released. Three others were taken to the hospital in serious condition.

Family said one of those victims is a DePaul student, who was with two of his friends, and injured his leg.

The 14-year-old ended up on the hood of the Jeep before falling under the vehicle, the sub shop's owner said. He was was flown to Comer Children's Hospital after suffering critical injuries.

A very close community, Fr. Burke Masters said people gathered at St. Isaac Jogues Church once they heard what happened.

"Last night, the texts were going around," he said. "Over 200 people gathered at 7 o'clock for a rosary almost immediately just to rally around the young man and his family."

"Everything else can be repaired and fixed and everything," Fontano said. "But, you know, this little boy's life could be changed forever."

Meanwhile, the driver of the vehicle was not injured in the crash. It's unclear what charges they may be facing.

The Major Crash Reconstruction Team from the DuPage County Merit Task Force is assisting Hinsdale police with the investigation.