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Illinois teenager charged with reckless homicide after police say they tried to ‘get some fresh air’ while driving, killing 4 passengers in car

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  • Four teenagers died after their car took off over the crest of a hill and split in two.

  • Police say they believe the driver acted intentionally and drove “at extremely high speed.”

  • The 17-year-old driver, who has not been identified due to his age, has been charged with reckless homicide.

  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

A 17-year-old driver has been charged with reckless homicide after a car crash over the weekend that killed four teenage passengers in the car.

Authorities responded to the crash in Hickory Hills, Ill., Shortly before 2:30 p.m. Saturday, according to a press release. Police said the driver, who has not been identified due to his age, was traveling “at extremely high speed, in what we believe to be an attempt to fly over the crest of the hill of 86th Avenue, ”police said.

“After crossing the 86th Avenue intersection, the vehicle took off, as one witness described it,” police said in a statement. “The vehicle then struck a large tree on the north side of 89th Street and the vehicle split in two.”

Two passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, and two other passengers were seriously injured and died in hospital, police said. Two other passengers were treated for non-life threatening injuries and were later released from the hospital.

“The Hickory Hills Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the families involved,” police said in the statement.

Several vigils were held on Sunday in honor of the four deceased passengers, identified as Omarion Rieves, 17, Nathanial Phillips, 17, Destiny Giera, 16, Jemerrio Rieves, 15, WGN-TV reported.

“Everything about me just wants to lie down,” Phillips father Kenneth Roberts told Chicago NBC News affiliate WMAQ-TV on Sunday. “I just want to cry. If I do this I’ll never get up, so I have to stay strong for his siblings. They miss him a lot right now.

“When we broke the news it was a bit devastating,” he added. “They were great kids, all four of them.”

The driver was taken into police custody after being treated and charged with reckless homicide and other traffic violations in connection with the incident.

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