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Maine East student hit by truck outside mall dies
By Madhu Krishnamurthy | Daily Herald Staff

Edgardo De La Torre


ABC 7 Chicago

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Published: 12/2/2009 6:20 PM | Updated: 12/3/2009 9:44 AM

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A Des Plaines-area youth run over by a pickup truck driven by another teen in a fight over a girl has died.

Edgardo De La Torre, a 16-year-old Maine East High School sophomore, was struck outside a Niles shopping center over the weekend and taken off life support on Wednesday, said the victim's brother, Alex De La Torre.

"We had a lot of good times and got through the bad times," Alex De La Torre said. "I loved him very much and wished we could have had more of those good times."

De La Torre had been kept alive so his organs could be harvested and donated, his brother said.

After the medical examiner conducts an autopsy and determines cause of death, authorities are expected to upgrade charges against the 16-year-old from Glenview who they say intentionally drove the pickup truck over the victim.

Though he has been charged as a juvenile with two counts of felony aggravated battery, he could face murder charges as an adult, Niles police Sgt. Tom Davis said.

The victim was crossing Church Street into Golf Mill mall with friends Saturday night when the unidentified boy driving the truck sped up and knocked the victim to the ground, where he hit his head on the pavement, Davis said.

Before the incident, the two boys had been heatedly arguing over a girl in an Internet chat room, Davis said. He added that they may have been involved in two separate gangs, but that wasn't the reason for the attack.

The truck also clipped a second 16-year-old. Both victims were taken from the scene to Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge, but the second teen was released later that evening.

District 207 officials said the victim had transferred into Maine East at the beginning of the fall semester.

The victim's mother told ABC 7 Chicago that he was the oldest of her children and the family had recently moved to an unincorporated area near Des Plaines to give their children a better life.

Police believe the victim may have attended Glenbrook South High School before. It is unclear whether the suspect, who is not a Maine East student, attended school elsewhere.