'Heartbreaking': Family remembers 71-year-old man killed after teens crash stolen car

Cate Cauguiran Image
Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Family remembers 71-year-old man killed after teens crash stolen car
The family of Donald Carter Sr. is remembering him after he was killed when teens crashed a stolen Kia, the Robbins Police Department said.

ROBBINS, Ill. (WLS) -- On Monday night, a small memorial rests along South Claire Boulevard to honor the life of 71-year-old man killed after a stolen vehicle with three teenagers inside crashed into his car.

"Heartbreaking. It's my uncle," said Aaron Crutchfield.

Aaron Crutchfield was driving in the area on Sunday when he noticed something familiar about one of the vehicles.

"I saw blue car in a ditch, and it looked like his car, but I wasn't sure," Crutchfield said.

That's how he learned his uncle, Donald Carter Sr., had been involved in a crash.

"I walked up on it, and it was just devastating to see my uncle's car like that. It was in bad shape," Crutchfield said.

Robbins police said on Sunday, an officer spotted a speeding KIA and started to follow it. Moments later, the KIA slammed into a Ford Taurus with Carter behind the wheel. He was rushed to the hospital, where he died.

"He loved us all. Family reunion time he would - he was like a kid. He loved family reunions. He would be so excited," Crutchfield said.

Crutchfield said his uncle, a retired auto-mechanic, adored his children and grandchildren and a good laugh.

"The way he joked around all the time. He would joke with us all the time," Crutchfield said. "Anytime you brought somebody new around he was crack jokes... 'Uncle is just playing, he ain't mean that. He's just joking with you.'"

Robbins police said the three 13 year olds accused of stealing a car and causing the deadly crash have been released to their parents.

"There's no reason why they should be at home. My uncle can't go back home. his family can't see him again. It's just not right," Crutchfield said.