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Quarrel between man and girlfriend leads to his tragic car accident death

Michael Santiago fatal car accident victim. | Provided photo

Michael Santiago, fatal car accident victim. | Provided photo

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Updated: February 11, 2013 7:29AM

A quarrel between a 21-year-old man and his pregnant teen girlfriend led to his tragic death in a car accident on the West Side, according to witnesses and police.

At around 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, Michael Santiago and his 19-year-old girlfriend were driving to the Lawndale Christian Health Center in the 3800 block of West Ogden.

Before they reached the clinic, the couple began arguing about her pregnancy and the girlfriend parked her Volkswagen Passat in the 2100 block of South Avers near the facility. When Santiago stepped out of the car, the girlfriend locked the doors. She began to drive away and Santiago pulled on the door handle, police sources said.

“He was like, ‘No, no, talk to me! Stop!” a witness told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The girlfriend briefly accelerated, Santiago fell and a rear wheel rolled over his head, sources said.

The girlfriend stopped and ran to Santiago, staying with him in the street in the 1900 block of South Avers until an ambulance arrived.

Witnesses who spoke to the Sun-Times gave a slightly different account of the accident. One witness, who asked that her name not be used, said Santiago fell, bounced off the VW and hit another car before landing face first on the pavement.

The girlfriend was ticketed for driving too fast for conditions. The police investigation is continuing but more serious charges are unlikely, a source said.

Santiago, who had attended Social Justice High School on the Little Village Lawndale campus, worked at a Menards and hoped to become involved in construction.

“He loved music, dancing and basketball — and really loved the ‘Ninja Turtles,’ ” said a sister, Patty Santiago, 18. Santiago’s favorite character from the Ninjas TV show was Michelangelo, whose image was tattooed on his arm, she said.

“He had a big, huge heart,” she added.

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