A $10,000 reward is being offered as police continue searching for a Ford Escape that struck an autistic 12-year-old boy, leaving him unresponsive in the roadway Friday in Deerfield.
The Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Department and Deerfield Police Department responded around 7:10 p.m. Friday to Deerfield Road and Beverly Place for a call of a person found down on the ground.
The Deerfield Police Department said that the boy, identified as 12-year-old Chase Thompson, was struck by a vehicle that was traveling westbound on Deerfield Road. The vehicle did not stop and continued driving on Deerfield Road.
A person driving by found Chase unresponsive in the roadway and called 911.
Paramedics transported the critically injured boy to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. The boy was then transferred by a medical helicopter to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
Chase’s father, Thad Thompson, told the Lake County News-Sun that his son, who is autistic and non-verbal, escaped from their home without shoes or a coat.
Thompson said he is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information leading to a conviction of the suspect who fled the scene, or to the driver if they turn themselves in to police.
Police officials said that the vehicle is believed to be a 2013-2016 Ford Escape with an SEL or Titanium trim package. The vehicle may have extensive damage to the passenger side headlight assembly, fender and grill.
Chase will remain in the intensive care unit for at least a week with a lengthy hospital stay to follow, Stacy Ditka said in a GoFundMe account, which has raised over $13,000 for boy’s family so far.
The Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) is assisting Deerfield police with the investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Deerfield Police Department at 847-945-8636.