Thomas Hunt

Thomas Hunt, an 18-year-old Oak Park River Forest High School senior, has died after being involved in a multiple-vehicle car crash that took place on May 4, at about 10 a.m. at the intersection Oak Park Avenue and Adams Street.

Police are still investigating the crash, but they say Hunt was traveling southbound on Oak Park Avenue, attempted to pass a vehicle and collided head-on with another vehicle headed northbound.

The vehicle headed northbound also collided with a parked car and the vehicle Hunt attempted to pass, according to police. Neither of those motorists were injured.

Hunt was taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood for treatment and was pronounced dead at 5 p.m. on the day of the accident. Police report that the crash resulted in the closure of Oak Park Avenue between Jackson Boulevard and Adams Street for nearly five hours, while police investigated the scene.

Lynda J. Parker, OPRF assistant principal for student services, said in a letter to parents that Hunt was “considered to be a selfless individual who always thought of others before himself.”

“Thomas is one of three Hunt children to attend OPRFHS and was well known and liked by peers and adults alike,” Parker said. “He was a part of our graphic design class and is credited for creating the cover of Tabula this school year.”

Parker said Hunt cared deeply for his sister, an OPRF sophomore, “and always looked out for her to assist when she needed it most.”

She said in Hunt’s’ memory, students will wear T-shirts on Monday designed by the late student.

The school will provide counselors and social workers starting at 7:15 a.m. in the OPRF College Center, room 207. Counselors and social workers also will be available at the start of each of Hunt’s classes.

“It is never easy to bear upsetting news and it can be overwhelming to process,” Parker said. “Nevertheless, we are confident that our Huskies will rally together to support and console one another and embrace Hunt family during this difficult time.

In an interview on May 6, Hunt’s cousin, Kayla Petroskey, 18, said that the two had planned to attend DePaul University together in the fall. They had grown closer while preparing for the college experience, she said. 

“He wasn’t just my cousin, he was a really good friend,” said Petroskey, who lives in California. “He was a friend to everyone he knew. He always knew the right things to say to people and could really connect with others. He had a really good heart and bright future. He was really artistic and extremely smart.” 

A Meal Train, which is an online platform that allows people to raise funds and “coordinate meals, childcare, rides, dog walking, visitors, and more” for families going through illness and bereavement, among other experiences, had raised nearly $5,000 of its $10,000 goal as of May 7. Roughly three dozen volunteers had signed up to prepare meals. 

To access the Hunter family’s Meal Train site, visit: https://www.mealtrain.com/trains/v99q5y. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com 

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