11-year-old killed in South Side crash was on his way to get a haircut

An 11-year-old boy on his way to get a haircut with his father died Saturday afternoon after a traffic crash involving a stolen vehicle in the South Side's Englewood neighborhood, family and police said.

Donovan Turnage, of the 5900 block of South Artesian Avenue, was a passenger in a Chevrolet Suburban when it was struck by a stolen vehicle about 12:30 p.m. near the intersection of West Garfield Boulevard and South Halsted Street, authorities said.

Shortly before the crash, police had attempted to stop a vehicle in the area that had been taken in an armed carjacking, police said. When officers activated their police lights in an attempt to curb the stolen vehicle, the driver sped off and struck the Suburban, police said.

Donovan and another passenger inside the Suburban, a man whose age has not been released, were taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center. The boy was pronounced dead at 1:35 p.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

Donovan was sitting in the backseat as his father drove him and his brother to get their hair cut, said Richard Miller, Donovan's cousin. Donovan was ejected through a window during the crash.

The father and his sons get their hair cut together every year around the holidays, according to family members. They said Donovan was close with his father, who he felt he could tell anything.

Miller described Donovan as a "kid mixed in with an adult," an articulate, outgoing child in the fifth grade at Morrill Math & Science School. He also played football, according to family members.

In his block, Donovan often helped neighbors with their chores, walking their dogs and carrying their groceries, Miller said.

"He touched a lot of people's lives," Miller said. "He touched a lot of people's hearts."

It remained unclear Saturday night exactly where police tried to curb the vehicle that hit the car carrying Donovan. Police declined to provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation into the crash.

After the crash, the driver of the stolen vehicle fled the scene in a second vehicle taken from a nearby location, police said. Police were not releasing a description of the suspect or the suspect's vehicles Saturday night.

After the crash that killed Donovan, Illinois State Police believe the carjacker committed two robberies in Oak Lawn and Burbank, State Police Sgt. Jewel Harris said. The carjacker then got a flat tire and flagged down an elderly couple, taking their vehicle on the ramp from Interstate 294 north to Interstate 88 west in Oak Brook.

Harris described the couple's car -- the third vehicle the carjacker is believed to have taken that day -- as a light blue 2007 Honda Accord. The carjacker was last seen heading west on Interstate 88.

State police believe the same person is responsible for another carjacking Friday on the North Side, Harris said.

The age and condition of the man who was hospitalized were also not released.

The Traffic Review Board reviews all traffic pursuits, CPD spokesman Adam Collins said in an email.

"We conduct pursuits based on the threat to the community, and clearly this was an exceptional situation," Collins wrote.

Deanese Williams-Harris contributed.

pasvitek@tribune.com | Twitter: @PatrickSvitek

asege@tribune.com | Twitter: @AdamSege

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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