Turning driver fatally struck Trayvion West, 13, in South Chicago crosswalk

Trayvion West, left. Image: South Shore Drill Team
Trayvion West, left. Image: South Shore Drill Team

Last Thursday night, November 21, a driver struck and killed 13-year-old Trayvion West as he crossed the street in a crosswalk in the South Chicago neighborhood.

At 6:30 p.m., West was crossing the intersection of 83rd Street and Exchange Avenue, Police News Affairs said, adding that it’s not clear which direction he was crossing. Exchange bends southeast from 83rd, and the intersection, which has stoplights, has long pedestrian crossing distances.

The intersection of 83rd and Exchange. Image: Google Maps
The intersection of 83rd and Exchange. Image: Google Maps

A 52-year-old man driving west made a left turn, striking the teen, police said. West, who lived nearby on the 8100 block of South Muskegon Avenue, was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The driver, who remained at the scene, was cited for making an improper left turn, driving an uninsured vehicle, and failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

The crash site, looking west on 83rd. Image: Google Maps
The crash site, looking west on 83rd. The intersecton has long pedestrian crossing distances. Image: Google Maps

David O’Bannon, who works near the crash site, told ABC Chicago that he heard a woman screaming for help after the collision. “It came out of the garage across the street and I heard the lady screaming the kind of scream you don’t want to hear like something terrible happened to somebody that they loved,” he said.

West was a member of the South Shore Drill Team, which has posted a memorial video on Facebook with images of him performing with the team. “Trayvion will be dearly missed by everyone,” the post stated.

West’s death occurred about two weeks after a 72-year-old man driving a sedan struck a boy, 5, in a crosswalk at Elston and Francisco Avenues, critically injuring him. That driver was also cited for failure to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Residents are calling for stop signs to be installed on Elston at the intersection.

Fatality Tracker: 2019 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths on surface streets
Pedestrian: 36
Bicyclist: 4

Note: Streetsblog Chicago’s traffic death numbers represent fatal crashes on Chicago surface streets, based on preliminary Chicago Police Department data for January though August 2019 released by the Chicago Department of Transportation, plus media reports for September, October, and November.

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