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Mother, 6-Year-Old Son Killed In Lake Shore Drive Crash

CHICAGO (STMW) -- A Rogers Park woman and her 6-year-old son were killed and two other people were injured in a car crash in the southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive Saturday evening.

Luka Bala, 6, was taken in critical condition to Lurie Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m., according to officials.

His mother, 39-year-old Marija Bala, was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she was pronounced dead at 8:21 p.m., officials said.

They lived in the 1700 block of West Estes Avenue, in the Far North Side Rogers Park neighborhood, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

The mother and son were driving northbound on Lake Shore Drive when they lost control, according to police News Affairs. They crossed the median into the southbound lanes where they struck another car.

Two other people were critically hurt in the crash, and taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital and Masonic Hospital, according to Fire Media Affairs.

The crash happened near the Wilson Avenue exit about 6:06 p.m., according to police News Affairs.

Two heavily damaged cars could be seen in the southbound lanes Saturday night.

A green Nissan appeared to have heavy damage to its front-end while the driver's side door of a black Honda Civic was also heavily damaged. A police officer could be seen removing bags of personal items from the Nissan.

Victor Salazar, of north suburban Zion, said he was enjoying the evening with friends at Montrose Park when they heard the collision, followed by a "pound, pound, pound, pound" sound. They bolted under the Wilson Avenue bridge and onto southbound Lake Shore Drive.

Salazar said his friend cut the seat belt off the boy. Another woman was pinned in the car, he said.

"I tried to put a pillow behind [the boy's] neck," said Salazar, his hands shaking as he showed the beige floral hammock cushion he used. "This really hurts me, a lot. What happened today is not fair."

Paramedics arrived shortly after Salazar performed CPR on the child, Salazar said.

Jimmy Banuelos Sr. was selling tacos at Jaimie's Bar Concession in Montrose Park when he heard the collision, followed by screams. His 10-year-old son Jimmy Banuelos Jr. said he heard brakes screeching moments before the crash.

"We heard it from all the way down here, the elder Banuelos said.

The southbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive were shut down between Hollywood Avenue and Montrose Avenue for about four hours as authorities investigated the crash, police said. They were re-opened about 10:15 p.m.

The police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is investigating.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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