Benjamin Allison taken off life support after hit-and-run

NORMAL, Ill. (WLS) -- Benjamin Allison, 20, of Crystal Lake, Ill., was taken off life support Monday night after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run Saturday.

Allison was a student at Illinois State University and was walking through an intersection near the ISU campus in Normal, Ill., when he was struck by a vehicle which then fled the scene. Police arrested Joshua Dunn, 21, and charged him with a DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

Allison was an avid hockey player. His former teammates in the northwest suburbs say he was a leader and a great friend.

"Ben was one of those kids who would walk into a room and everyone would like him immediately," remembers Rich Perillo, varsity hockey coach for Crystal Lake South. "He had a smile on his face, he was always happy, always willing to help everybody."

Coach Perillo says Allison's athletic ability and great attitude made him the backbone of the team. Nicknamed "Big Ben" for his 6 ft. 5 in. frame, Allison was the goalie and gave his younger teammates pointers.

"One of the things that stood out was his size and how good he was," says his former teammate Hayden Hooghkirk. "He took me under his wing and showed me a lot of what I know."

Soon after Allison was brought to the hospital, friends started a Facebook page updating his condition. Many rushed to his bedside. But his parents made the decision Monday to take their only child off life support, planning to donate his organs.

"He was just one of those guys that, no matter where you went, no matter who he met, no matter the situation, everybody loved him," said Wayne Bower, assistant hockey coach for Crystal Lake South.

On Saturday, when the varsity coach broke the news about the accident and Allison's injuries, the team played a game an hour later in his honor. They tied 4-4.
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