The off-duty police officer who drove through a stop sign, striking and killing 9-year-old Hershel Weinberger, z”l, has been so far only issued a citation.
The officer, 48, was issued a citation for failure to exercise due care for a pedestrian in the road, the Chicago Sun Times reported. The officer took a test at the scene and was not under the influence of alcohol.
The officer is scheduled to appear in traffic court on Aug. 5.
The officer claimed he stopped and looked left and right and that he didn’t see Hershel, but witnesses to the accident told local news WGN 9 that the officer sped past the intersection’s stop signs and into the crosswalk, where Hershel was crossing on his bike.
Hershel’s parents were outside and rushed to their son. Shamai Weinberger held Hershel in his arms as they waited for an ambulance.
“At that point he knew his son wasn’t going to make it,” a friend said. “He told me that the connection he felt at that moment with him and his son was just very, very spiritual.”
Hatzolah sped him to the hospital, but tragically he passed away soon after.
After the crash, Alderwoman Debra Silverstein wrote in a open letter, “I have no words to express my deep sympathy for his family, and I cannot even comprehend the sorrow his loved ones are going through as our community struggles with this horrific tragedy.”
“We must all take this as a stark reminder to always drive safely—especially on residential streets,” she continued. “Drive slowly and always come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic lights. Be extra cautious around schools, parks, and places of worship.”
“He enjoyed being a typical 9-year-old, living life to the fullest and being happy,” Shamai Weinberger said, according to the Chicago Streetsblog.