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  1. #1
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    Teen dies when stolen truck crashes into tree

    By Jo Napolitano
    Tribune staff reporter
    Published August 16, 2006, 7:53 PM CDT

    The death of a well-liked student in a one-vehicle accident will mean a difficult start Friday to the year at Lockport Township High School, officials said.

    David Nelson Jr., 17, of Crest Hill died Tuesday after driving a stolen Chevrolet pickup truck into a tree in Channahon, about 12 miles southwest of Joliet, police said Wednesday.

    The impact was so severe that the oak tree penetrated the vehicle by almost 3 feet after Nelson hit it dead on. When authorities were alerted about 6 a.m., four hours after the crash likely occurred, Nelson was breathing and had a pulse.

    He was cut from the vehicle and taken to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was pronounced dead about 9:20 a.m. Tuesday.

    Nelson of the 1900 block of North Hickory Street played varsity volleyball at Lockport and was about to start his senior year.

    Peter Colarelli, a spokesman for the school, said Nelson had many friends.

    "It will be hard for students to come to grips with his death because he was very friendly and outgoing," Colarelli said. "The boy made a bad decision, and it cost him his life. He's not that type of person overall."

    He said grief counselors would be available to students when they attend their first day Friday.

    Police said residents near the accident scene awoke to a loud crashing sound around 2 a.m. One said it sounded like someone was kicking in the front door. Another thought a tree was falling on the house. Neither could see the crash site on Meadow Lark Drive just east of Cardinal Drive from their front windows.

    Channahon Police Detective Jeff Wold said the case is under investigation. Alcohol may have played a role in the crash, he said, but added that authorities won't know until toxicology tests are completed. There was no alcohol in the truck, he said.

    The owner of the truck told investigators he parked it in his driveway Monday night, Wold said. Police believe it was stolen between 1:30 and 2 a.m.

    Wold said Nelson was alone at the time of the wreck, but police are seeking anyone who might have been with him earlier that night. He noted that many teens don't think this could happen to them.

    "They think they're indestructible," he said. "There's no sense of mortality."

    Wold said Nelson did not have a criminal record and that his friends stressed the whole incident was uncharacteristic.

    "It almost seems like a crime of opportunity," he said.

    Wold said he wants to be able to give Nelson's family some answers as to what happened in the last hours of their son's life. He did not have any identification and medical workers did not know who he was, Wold said. Hospital staff said Nelson was carrying a friend's identification, so authorities called her to help identify him.

    Nelson's parents could not be reached for comment.

    Colarelli said Nelson had played varsity volleyball since his sophomore year. While Colarelli said he did not know Nelson well, he remembers the teen had talked about becoming a doctor.

    Colarelli said he hoped the incident would spark some awareness about safety behind the wheel. The school has a program meant to deter teens from driving under the influence, he said, acknowledging that investigators don't know that Nelson had been drinking the morning he died.

    The program, called "Road to Reality," calls for the school's drama club to act out a night of partying and drinking. In the short play, the students fight over who is going to drive and eventually get into a wreck. They play dead as they are extricated from a crumbled vehicle parked on school grounds.

    Despite the program and other students' deaths, he fears teens aren't getting the message.

    "They still don't learn," he said. "I'm praying they do this time."

    jnapolitano@tribune.com
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  2. #2
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    ???? Crime of opportunity? Everyone will be sad for this star well liked student?


    Nevermind the fact he stole a truck. Unbeleivable.
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  3. #3
    MonsterMash's Avatar
    MonsterMash is offline Proud 3%er
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro56
    ???? Crime of opportunity? Everyone will be sad for this star well liked student?


    Nevermind the fact he stole a truck. Unbeleivable.
    Exactly what I picked up on as well. I feel for the family and friends of this kid and believe that no parent should have to bury their child, however this is also a case of nature weeding out the dumb ones.
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  4. #4
    Pedro56's Avatar
    Pedro56 is offline Englewood Ranger/Infidel Extraordinaire
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro56
    By Jo Napolitano
    Tribune staff reporter
    Published August 16, 2006, 7:53 PM CDT

    Colarelli said he hoped the incident would spark some awareness about safety behind the wheel. The school has a program meant to deter teens from driving under the influence, he said, acknowledging that investigators don't know that Nelson had been drinking the morning he died.
    Maybe, just maybe the incident will spark the awareness of not driving at a high rate of speed in a stolen truck? If I was the owner of the truck I would be pissed that I was now assed out my ride to work.
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  5. #5
    Piggybank Cop's Avatar
    Piggybank Cop is offline Nobody important.
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    "Teen dies when stolen truck crashes into tree"

    Read the headline; it's not his fault.

    Police will be interviewing folks about the backgrounds of both the truck and the tree to place the blame squarely where it belongs.

    Two scenarios that come to mind are the truck kidnapped him or the tree jumped out in front of the truck in a reckless disregard of life and limb.

    There are some here in the police department that have put forth the theory that it was a conspiracy between the two.

    Also the owner is under the spotlight for not locking his truck in the garage so it would not have been able to have gone out and committed this reckless and fatal deed.

    The school will have classes and grief counselors available to explain how all this was not the kids fault.

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  6. #6
    lepdford's Avatar
    lepdford is offline K-9 Officer
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    Momma always told me if your going to play with fire...you have to be willing to get burned!

    I hate to sound like I don't care, but sometimes the street justice Gods have a heavy hand!

    Unfortunate accident, but he fucked up...Big Time, huh?
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  7. #7
    zpd307's Avatar
    zpd307 is offline Master Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedro56
    Maybe, just maybe the incident will spark the awareness of not driving at a high rate of speed in a stolen truck? If I was the owner of the truck I would be pissed that I was now assed out my ride to work.
    that will only last about 30 seconds!!!!
    MANNNNN.... YOU MUST BE FAST, BECAUSE I WAS HAULIN ASS WHEN I PASSED YOU!

  8. #8
    Growler's Avatar
    Growler is offline I is not happy
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    Since the blame will be placed on the tree for being in the way, has anyone gotten the tree a lawyer?

  9. #9
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Darwin wins again. Just saved someone in the future from being operated on by a dumb doctor.
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  10. #10
    lesta311's Avatar
    lesta311 is offline Evil is my business.......
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    Hmmmmm......That brings new meaning to the term "Drive it like you stole it".

  11. #11
    Ducky's Avatar
    Ducky is offline Enforcer General
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    Dumbass couldn't even drive. They think it was stolen between 0130 and 0200, and the noise of the wreck was heard at about 0200. He must've just gotten up to speed when that evil tree jumped out in front of him.
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