Boy, 11, killed in hit-and-run while riding bike in North Lawndale
CHICAGO (CBS) – An 11-year-old boy is dead after being struck by a vehicle while riding a bike in the North Lawndale area Thursday morning.
Ja'lon James and his twin brother, Ja'len, were on a bike ride in the 3300 block of West 16th Street around 10:20 a.m., when witnesses said Ja'lon was hit by a car headed east on 16th Street as the boy was pulling out of an alley.
A witness told CBS 2's Asal Rezaei that Ja'lon and his bike were dragged about 100 feet down the street, where the driver then stopped, reversed, and then kept driving.
A store clerk confirmed that she saw Ja'lon and his twin brother at the store Thursday morning.
Witnesses also said that a driver in another vehicle tried to chase the car to try to get a license plate. So far, Chicago Police have not confirmed if they have that information or if they've made any arrests.
Ja'lon was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition and was later pronounced dead, police said.
Major Accident Unit is investigating.
Ja'lon had just finished 5th grade at Herzl Elementary. He leaves behind his mother, twin brother, and five other siblings, according to Legal Help Firm.
Jamyle Cannon, one of Ja'lon's mentors at The Bloc, a non-profit boxing club on the West Side, said Ja'lon's mother rushed to the boy's side after he was hit.
"Mothers are not supposed to be burying their babies. Mothers are not supposed to be grieving their sons," he said.
Ja'lon joined The Bloc to learn how to box, but Cannon learned Ja'lon was happiest working with his brothers in the garden.
"He reminded us to meet young people where they are, and when we were able to do that with him, he brought us all so much joy," Cannon said.
Ja'lon would come to The Bloc three times a week with three of his brothers. He was one of seven. Cannon said that inspiring group of boys always protected each other.
"They brought curiosity. They brought love for one another. They are a small pack of young men that are really looking out for one another," Cannon said.
It's a loss the family and the club won't soon recover from.
"The other fighters in the program are going to miss him so much, because of the full life that he brought into the program," Cannon said.
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