A Downers Grove teen has died after suffering a severe brain injury in a bicycle accident. Authorities say that the 15-year-old boy was hit a truck while riding his bike last year and suffered a brain injury that left him unable to move. Despite enduring multiple surgeries and returning home, the teen had lost almost all movement in his body.
The driver was convicted earlier last year of failing to yield to a pedestrian. He was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and fined $1,500. The Chicago Tribune reports that the family petitioned the governor’s office to strengthen the penalties for hitting pedestrians in crosswalk, citing the light sentence they expected the driver to get.
“He’s not going to survive the accident,” the boy’s mother told a judge before sentencing. “I think that the statute is wrong. My son’s life is worth something.”
“I’d like to thank each and every one of you that stood by our sides through this tragedy,” the teen’s father posted to the family’s Facebook page. “Your kind words, your generosity, your prayers, your actions, your new found love for anything this may have drawn you closer to.”
He added that the teen “was such a great boy, and we struggle to find answers to why this happened. Know that he loves you all. Know that we love and appreciate you all.”
Traumatic brain injuries such as the one that the teen suffered are often severe and result in severe, lifelong disabilities. Some of the consequences of a traumatic brain injury are immediately identifiable, such as paralysis or cognitive issues. Other consequences of a brain injury are latent and can take years to surface. Examples include migraines, balance problems and behavioral changes.