09/25/2013 01:20 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2013

Eugene Ratcliff, Chicago Man, Killed On His 32nd Birthday By Speeding Teenage Driver

Eugene Ratcliff's life was cut short the very night he was celebrating his 32nd birthday.

The Chicago man was struck and killed after he and two others were hit by a speeding teenage driver Tuesday night while crossing the street in the city's South Side Avalon Park neighborhood.

The 17-year-old driver behind the wheel of the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta plowed into the group around 9 p.m near the 8300 block of South Blackstone Avenue the Sun-Times reports.

The driver lost control and hit a 2012 Pontiac Sunfire traveling west on 83rd Street before attempting to flee on foot. He was later apprehended by police, ABC Chicago reports.

Ratcliff's friend, 22-year-old Jovan Smith, was also injured in the crash and told NBC Chicago the man was excited to be celebrating his birthday, repeatedly saying, "I'm 32! I'm 32!"

Ratcliff was pronounced dead at an area hospital less than an hour after the crash.

A 30-year-old pedestrian was listed in stable condition, while the driver of the Pontiac Sunfire refused medical attention, according to reports. The driver of the Volkswagen Jetta was not hurt.

The teen was taken into police custody and officials have not said whether drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. No charges had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.

"Life is short. You never know what can happen," Smith said after leaving the hospital where he was treated.



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