CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Police Monday night were looking for the driver of a pickup truck that hit and killed a 18-month-old boy in Albany Park, and then fled.
As CBS 2's Chris Tye reported, the Albany Park community where the hit-and-run happened is still trying to cope with the tragedy.
The boy, Hermes Rios-Cardona, was having lunch at a restaurant with his mom, dad, aunt, grandma, and sibling. Minutes after leaving lunch at Pulaski Road and Wilson Avenue, Hermes' parents were trying to buckle him into a vehicle when he escaped.
The family car was parked northbound on Pulaski Road. Eight hours after it all began, the car was still there.
"They really just looked like a happy family in the end," said Enzo Geronimo, who served the family of six at Ruby's Fast Food, 4551 N. Pulaski Rd. "They were just with two kids. They dined in right there. They seemed all fine."
But "fine" turned to "frantic" fast as they were preparing to drive away from Ruby's.
"Once they left our store – I think about like five, 10 minutes later – that's when everything really happened," Geronimo said.
What happened, family said, is Hermes' father was putting him into the back seat of the family's Toyota RAV 4 when the little boy — not yet secure — got loose and walked into traffic. Hermes was hit by a pickup truck heading north on Pulaski Road.
The driver of the pickup truck just kept ongoing.
As police closed six blocks for three hours looking for that truck and driver, Hermes was raced to the Lurie Children's Hospital - where he died two hours later.
"My heart is breaking," said Maureen Devine. "Yes, it's horrible."
Devine lives a block from the restaurant. She came to the scene to light a candle, say a prayer, and share some words.
"It's so close to the neighborhood," Devine said. "I'm a mother myself, and this is like such a traumatic thing that I felt like I had to do something."
This all happened just across the block from the Albany Park (17th) District police headquarters, at 4650 N. Pulaski Rd.
There are cameras around the Ruby's Fast Food, but it is unclear what they may show. The restaurant owner did not want to share.
Police late Monday issued a Community Alert showing three photos of the dark-colored two-tone Ford pickup truck that hit Hermes.
Anyone with information should call the police Major Accident Investigation Unit at (312) 745-4521. Anonymous tips may be submitted to CPDTip.com.
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