CHICAGO (CBS) – Baby Hermes Rios-Cardona was hit and killed by a truck in Albany Park on Monday, and his parents received a heartbreaking message the next day.
As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported, Grandma Clerita Recto found the strength between moans and moans to deliver a message about her one-year-old grandson.
“I want justice for him,” Recto said. “He is so nice, my grandson.”
Police say the driver of a van failed to stop after hitting the toddler – who broke away from his car seat and ended up in the street on Pulaski Road near Wilson Ave.
Hermès died of his injuries.
“He hugged me, he kissed me,” Recto said. “Now no more.”
“To the person who committed this tragic accident, please, if you have a conscience or a heart, please surrender,” added Hermes sponsor Khalid Jordan.
He added that anyone who might know who was driving the van might be able to “convince them to do the right thing”.
Jordan said prayers are the best thing for the little boy’s family right now. They also struggle to find money to pay for the unexpected funeral.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help cover these costs.
Mum and dad have three other children to take care of: Hermès’ brothers and sister. They say they won’t forget how much their third baby – who was born premature – loved life.
“When he said thank you, he was smiling — like the biggest smile,” said Hermes’ mother, Jocelyn Rios, “and remember him? I’m pretty sure everyone will remember him.”
We are told that Hermes was particularly close to his mother.
“He really was a mother’s boy. He loved being with his mother,” Jordan said. “Not once did I see him that he wasn’t on his mother’s hip.”
The family said the toddler is always smiling – a ray of sunshine.
“Even if it rained, he would still be there playing wet,” said Hermès’ father, Gerardo Cardona. “He liked being alive.”
Throughout the day at the scene of the accident, people passed by to stop and offer a quick prayer. This meant a lot to the religious family of Hermes.
Chicago Police Department data shows that from January to mid-August of this year, there were 18 fatal hit-and-runs in Chicago – with just five arrests, or 28%. For hit-and-runs involving serious injury, there were 203 incidents – with arrests for just six, or 3%.
Note, again, that this data only goes through mid-August and the hit-and-run that killed Hermes is not included.
Contributor: Elliott Ramos