CHICAGO (CBS) — Months after two men died after driving down an unmarked boat ramp into the Calumet River, little has been done to improve safety.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has been digging to find out who’s dropping the ball.
Davontae Searcy, Demetrius Hendricks and Christopher Henderson drove into the Calumet River on November 4th of last year during heavy rainfall. There are no signs posted saying the road ends, and where the boat launch for where the Sunset Bay Marina begins.
As of Tuesday, there’s no barrier gate at West 136th Street and South Calhoun in Hegewisch that could stop a car from driving into the Calumet River.
What’s there are two lawn chairs.
“Shocked wasn’t even the word. I was more hurt than anything,” said Darrick Lacy, father of Devontae Searcy. “I felt they really didn’t care about what happened to the next person. By putting nothing up shows me you really don’t have no remorse at all. What if it was their child?”
Lacy’s son Devontae Searcy died. So did Demetrius Hendricks. Christopher Henderson was able to make it out of the red Pontiac Grand Prix and survived.
“Not only did I lose my son, he lost his best friend, but at the same time it’s like they didn’t care if somebody else lost their life,” said Lacy. “Because putting two lawn chairs out there that the wind could knock down.”
CBS 2 wanted to ask the marina owner about the chairs but he wasn’t thereand didn’t return calls. In published reports, the owner said the street and ramp are owned by the city. A worker told CBS 2 the city put the chairs in place.
“What they thinking about? It’s like two people lost their lives and like they just don’t care,” said Lacy. “We’re going to do what we’re going to do. We’ve got to get it swept up under the rug. When you lose your child, you don’t want it swept up under the rug for something like that.”
Ald. Sue Sadlowski Garza (10th) said she has no idea who owns the boat ramp and doesn’t think the city would use chairs to block it.
The city’s law department said it has been subpoenaed for information about the properties in the area. And the lawyer for the Hendricks family said the chairs provide no barrier or warning at all.
When asked who put the chairs at the foot of the boat ramp. The law department didn’t give an answer.