Breaking News Bar
updated: 3/24/2011 10:01 PM

Prospect High student killed in Arlington Heights crash

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • The scene of a an early morning car crash on the 400 block of South Windsor in Arlington Heights.

      The scene of a an early morning car crash on the 400 block of South Windsor in Arlington Heights.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • The scene of an early morning car crash on the 400 block of South Windsor in Arlington Heights.

      The scene of an early morning car crash on the 400 block of South Windsor in Arlington Heights.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • John "Jack" Gavin

      John "Jack" Gavin
    Courtesy of Susan Gavin

 
 

On paper, John "Jack" Gavin was the middle brother of three, a Prospect High School volleyball player and an honors student.

But, according to his mother, that was just the beginning.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"He was the bright spot in my day," said Susan Gavin of Arlington Heights. "He was a wonderful son and a wonderful brother, such a sweet kid to everyone. He was very, very loved."

Gavin, 16, died Thursday morning after the car he was riding in slammed into a tree just after midnight in Arlington Heights, police said.

He died shortly before 8 a.m. at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Officers responding to a 911 call from a passing driver and nearby residents got to the 400 block of South Windsor about 12:40 a.m. to find a 2000 Hyundai Sonata crashed into a tree on the boulevard in the middle of the street.

Gavin, the front-seat passenger, was unresponsive when officers arrived, and rescue crews had to remove the car's roof to pull the boy out.

The 16-year-old driver was examined and released to a parent at the scene.

Susan Gavin said her son and the driver were friends and she doesn't hold the other boy responsible for her Jack's death.

"From what I understand, he wasn't speeding. He just hit a patch of ice and hit a tree," said the mother who has lived in Arlington Heights with her husband, Mike, for more than 20 years. The couple has two other sons, Jimmy, 19, and Grant, 13.

Jack just got his driver's license in September, Susan Gavin said.

Police said both boys were using seat belts, and the air bags deployed inside the vehicle as designed.

A preliminary investigation indicated the Hyundai was heading south on Windsor when the driver failed to negotiate a bend in the roadway, police said.

The car was traveling only slightly above the 25 mph speed limit before the crash, officials said, but the roadway was wet from the snow flurries that were falling.

An accident reconstructionist has been assigned to conduct an in-depth investigation into the crash, said Capt. Nicholas A. Pecora Jr. of the Arlington Heights Police Department, adding that alcohol and drugs do not appear to be a factor. It will be at least a week before the investigation is complete.

No citations or criminal charges have been issued, he said.

Things that will be taken into consideration include the restrictions on the licenses of young drivers and what the physical evidence shows about the speed of the vehicle, Pecora said.

According to the secretary of state's website, a driving restriction or curfew is in place for those age 16 and 17 between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weeknights. It is allowed for these young drivers to have one other unrelated passenger under the age of 20.

The Cook County medical examiner's office has scheduled an autopsy Friday.

Prospect Principal Kurt Laakso said Gavin will be missed from his school's hallways come Monday, when students return from a week of spring break.

"He was a good kid who had a lot of friends," Laakso said. "He was one of those very involved students."

Counselors will meet on Friday to put together a crisis plan for when students return on Monday, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 spokeswoman Venetia Miles said.

Share this page
    help here