A 6-year-old boy whose pregnant mother and two younger brothers died earlier this week following a two-vehicle car crash in Beecher also has succumbed to his injuries, the Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed Thursday.
Owen Schmidt, who had been in a medically induced coma, was pronounced dead at 2:39 a.m. Thursday at Comer Children’s Hospital at the University of Chicago, medical examiner’s office spokeswoman Becky Schlikerman said.
The boy’s mother, Lindsey Schmidt, 29, and his 21-month-old brother Kaleb were killed Monday when the driver of a 2002 Chevrolet S10 pickup truck blew a stop sign at the intersection of Corning Road and Yates Avenue in unincorporated Washington Township and struck their 2014 Subaru Outback, according to the Will County sheriff’s office.
Another brother who also was in the vehicle, 4-year-old Weston, succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday evening.
On Thursday evening, about 200 people gathered at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crete to pray for the Schmidt family. The family was headed to Vacation Bible School at the church when the wreck occurred.
“I believe you all understand when I say I wish we weren’t here,” Pastor Frank Italiano told his congregation.
The church this week continued with its Vacation Bible School, which focused on Psalm 46, a passage that describes God as a mighty fortress, he said.
Italiano said that Scripture has served as a source of comfort in the aftermath of the tragic crash.
“God is our rock and our fortress; the one we go to in times of trouble,” he said.
He acknowledged the “why” can be difficult to understand.
“Where’s the glory? Where do we see glory in this week?” he asked. “We don’t. But you know what? Lindsey, Owen, Weston and Kaleb; they see glory right now … that’s where there is glory.”
Italiano said the outpouring of community support has been tremendous.
“It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
Family members were not at the prayer vigil and have requested to be allowed to mourn privately, Italiano said after Thursday’s service.
“The family is hurting,” he said.
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SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, Zak Koeske and Alicia Fabbre