Family of Robbins man killed in crash remember him as family oriented with a passion for working on cars

Donald Carter, who died in a car crash earlier this month after police say a stolen car crashed into his vehicle in Robbins, was remembered by his children as family oriented, fun and silly, with a passion for working on cars.

“He was always the jokester, always silly,” said Desmond Carter, his son.

Donald Carter, 70, died after a stolen Kia police say was driven by three 13-year-old boys crashed it into his vehicle Feb. 12. Desmond Carter said the crash occurred in the parking lot where his father lived.

Donald Carter grew up in Robbins and had six sisters and a brother, his son said. His father had six children, 20 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, he said.

His father was retired but previously worked as a certified welder and also liked working on cars and building race cars, he said. Growing up, Carter said he most remembers his father taking him and his siblings to the track to watch different cars race, such as race cars powered by jets.

Carter recalled a time when his brother found an old dirt bike and his father fixed it up.

Throughout his life, Carter said his father taught him how to be organized. His father always wrote out a detailed plan and itemized things, he said.

“Even within his death, that helped us out going through these tough times,” Carter said.

Robbins police said the crash occurred at 2:30 p.m., after an officer followed a Kia with a broken driver’s side window being driven north on Kedzie Avenue.

The Kia crashed into a Ford Taurus, driven by Donald Carter, who was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died from his injuries, police said.

The three 13-year-old boys in the Kia were arrested at the scene, but police said they had all been released to their respective parents.

Robbins police Chief David Sheppard said that under Illinois law, juveniles 12 years and older can only be held for 24 hours for police questioning. Robbins police couldn’t gather the evidence needed to charge the teenagers in this case, so they were released, Sheppard said.

Sean Howard, spokesman for Robbins, said the Cook County state’s attorney’s office approved a Robbins Police Department search warrant in the case Feb. 15, but declined to share any other information. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office declined to comment on the case Friday because “this is a continuing investigation.”

Desmond Carter said he was upset the three teenagers were released without being charged because their alleged crimes led to his father’s death. The family wants the teenagers to be charged and held accountable for their crimes, he said.

“There’s so much hurt and there’s so much anger behind it mostly because these kids were allowed to go home to the very people who obviously weren’t making sure they knew where these kids were in the first place,” Carter said.

Shunna Reid, Donald Carter’s daughter, said when she first heard about her father’s death she went into shock.

“I was numb when I first heard about it,” Reid said. “I’m angry. Something has to be done.”

Kenton Boyd, another son, said his father loved working on cars and passed on that same passion to his children. The family wants answers, he said.

“We just want justice here,” Boyd said.

Above all else, Donald Carter was a family man, Reid said.

“He loved being around his grandkids, his family,” she said.

Desmond Carter said what he’ll miss most is receiving calls or text messages from his father trying to convince him to like Ford over Chevy cars, a banter they had.

Or he’ll miss riding by his father’s house on his motorcycle and revving the engine to let his father know he’s there and safe, Carter said.

Going through his father’s items, Carter said it’s becoming even clearer how important family was to him because of the photographs they found, including of Donald Carter and his siblings at family reunions with their extended, his grandchildren piled on top of him and his children.

“He was a great dad,” Carter said.