The Will County coroner released the identity of a 29-year-old man killed in an apparent single-vehicle crash on Friday.
Avontae E. Baker, 29, of Joliet was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m. Friday near the intersection of South State Street and Louise Ray Parkway in Joliet, according to a statement released by the Will County Coroner’s Office on Saturday.
Baker’s longtime friend Tyrell Hundley, owner of Joliet Kreamers, a sneakers store in downtown Joliet, said he was taken aback when he heard the news.
“It’s just hard,” Hundley said and then repeated, “It’s just hard.”
It also made Hundley second-guess if he ever wants to ride a motorcycle again.
Hundley said his grandmother was Baker’s foster parent, so Baker and Hundley spent a lot of time together while growing up on the east side of Joliet, Hundley said.
“He was always in the family, if that makes sense,” Hundley said.
Hundley said Baker always encouraged Hundley to keep going with the store, was proud of Hundley’s successes and was a “go-getter” himself.
“He was just energetic and fun to be around,” Hundley said.
A city of Joliet street department employee had found Baker’s body off a roadway on the west side of Louise Ray Parkway and then called 911, Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English told The Herald-News on Friday.
Officers responded to Louise Parkway and South Street at 12:04 p.m. Friday, where they found a badly damaged Kawasaki ZX600 motorcycle nearby and evidence of a crash, English said.
Police are still investigating, but believe the crash was single-vehicle and that Baker was driving the motorcycle.
The Will County Coroner’s Office performed the autopsy on Saturday.
The final cause and manner of death are pending results of the police, autopsy and toxicological reports, according to the Will County coroner.
Anyone with information about the crash should call the Joliet Police Department’s traffic division at 815-724-3010.
Source: The Daily Chronicle