15-year-old student critically injured in hit-and-run while leaving Fenger High School, police say

Family pleads for driver to turn himself in as Chicago police release photo of wanted vehicle

ByEvelyn Holmes and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Teen critically injured in hit-and-run while leaving South Side school
Fenger High School student Maari Roberson was critically injured in a hit-and-run in Roseland, Chicago police and his family said.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Relatives of a badly-injured Fenger High School student want the driver who hit the teen and then drove away to turn himself in.

Almost too exhausted to be emotional, Martina Thomas, the mother of Maari Roberson remains at his hospital bedside on Tuesday afternoon as the 15-year old fights for his life after being struck by a hit-and-run driver.

"I just want this person to turn themselves in. He doesn't deserve that. He did not deserve that at all," Thomas said. "He's just a child who was going to school, and getting ready to come home."

The teen remains in guarded condition and heavily sedated at the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital with a bleeding on the brain, two broken legs and other injuries.

"They're not working on the left leg yet because it's in really bad shape. The bleeding on the brain has stopped," said Tracy Roberson, the victim's grandmother.

He has already had several surgeries and is expected to have several more.

"It's unbelievable, but I'm just asking for prayer for my family and for my son," said Terry Pickett, the victim's father.

On Tuesday afternoon, the community joined Maari's family near the 112th Street and South Lowe Avenue intersection in Chicago's Roseland neighborhood, where the crash happened, with a plea for the driver responsible to turn themselves in.

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Good Samaritan Early Walker is offering a $1,000 reward for information about the crash.

"We want you to step up. We want you to turn yourself in," Walker said.

Classmates said it was Monday at about 3:19 p.m. when the sophomore left Fenger High School at the end of his last class, and he was struck.

Maari's sister says her brother's friends told her they tried to warn him about a fast-traveling car, which police said was a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo, that was swerving down the street, but it was too late. Chicago police released a photo of the vehicle they are looking for.

"The friends were warning my brother, Maari, but I guess, I don't know if he had his headphones or anything. I guess by the time he realized the guy was coming down the street, he was struck down," said Martianna High, the victim's sister.

Witnesses said after the crash, the driver left the aspiring wrestler and avid gamer unconscious in the street. The driver then allegedly got out of the car, gave false contact information to one of the witnesses, saying he was going to buy some cigars and would return, but never did.

"We simply want come forward and bring my sister, the family and his dad everyone justice for what you did," said Nastassja Hall, the victim's aunt.

I can't rest until I know that he's OK, until I know also that the person who did this to him has turned himself in
Martina Thomas

A parent at the school took Maari to a nearby hospital. He was eventually transferred to Comer Children's Hospital, where his recovery is expected to be long.

His mother is praying for a miracle.

"I can't rest until I know that he's OK, until I know also that the person who did this to him has turned himself in," Thomas said.

No one is in custody and Chicago police are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Major Accidents Unit at (312) 745-4521.