A 13-year-old boy from Pingree Grove was in critical condition after his older brother ran him over by mistake Monday night in a "car surfing" accident, authorities said.
The accident happened around 9 p.m. on the 1800 block of Lake Bluff Lane in an undeveloped subdivision, as a 16-year-old boy drove a household member's car while his younger brother lay on top of the hood, Pingree Grove Police Chief Carol Lussky said.
The driver braked sharply, which caused his younger brother to slide off the hood and hit his head on the ground, as the car came to a stop on his chest, Lussky said. The driver then backed up the car to help his brother and flagged someone for help to call 911, she said.
The Pingree Grove Fire Department responded to a call at 9:01 p.m. and found the 13-year-old, who was conscious, on the ground with multiple injuries, said Bill Misner, the department's EMS coordinator. They put him on a backboard, placed a collar on his neck and moved him to the ambulance, where they gave him advanced life support care, he said.
Due to the severity of the boy's injuries, a Flight for Life helicopter out of McHenry was called to assist, Misner said. The helicopter arrived at 9:33 p.m. and flew the boy to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.
Authorities didn't know the boy's condition Tuesday.
"I tried to get a hold of Lutheran General today. I'm assuming he's probably got multiple surgeries today," Misner said. Lussky also said she didn't have any information about his condition.
Authorities are not releasing either boy's names because they are juveniles. They live about two blocks from the site of the accident, Lussky said. The 16-year-old driver did not have a license but had a valid learner's permit, Lussky said. No other people were present at the time of the accident, she said.
The investigation is continuing and charges are pending, Lussky said.
"We want to wait and see the status of his brother. If he recovers, that's wonderful, and it will minimize the charges. If he passes away, it's more serious," she said. "We're holding off until we know what develops. (The 16-year-old) is unlicensed, so at a minimum there is that."
The tragic accident was about kids goofing off, Lussky said. "I think it's kids being kids. But with the existence of YouTube, they get exposed to so many things they want to go try."
According to a 2008 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 1990 to 2008 there were 58 reports of deaths and 41 reports of nonfatal injuries due to car-surfing throughout the country. The data was based on an analysis of newspaper reports. Seventy percent of the injuries were among males, and 69 percent among 15- to 19-year-olds, the CDC states.
Car: Charges depend on how boy does in hospital