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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Benefit Concert For Norwood Park Teen Badly Injured In Crash Planned For Sunday

John O’Malley, 18, was in a severe crash last summer and is recovering at home, his family said.

18-year-old John O’Malley was in a severe car crash last summer in Norwood Park and is recovering at home, though his road will be long, his family said.
Facebook; Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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NORWOOD PARK — Friends and family of a Far Northwest Side teenager badly injured in a rideshare crash last year are raising funds for his recovery with a concert this weekend.

John O’Malley, 18, of Norwood Park, was in a severe car crash last summer after his rideshare driver drove into the train crossing at Nagle and Avondale avenues near Northwest Highway. The driver was killed.

O’Malley broke several bones and was in an induced coma after the crash. He recently returned home from the hospital and has been recovering and going through rehab, friends wrote on the J.O. Strong Facebook page.

Sunday’s benefit concert will feature Irish bands and Irish dancing on two stages, a raffle, an auction, food and a cash bar. Admission is free. Only cash or personal checks will be accepted. The event is 2-8 p.m. at the Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox Ave.

The concert is one of many fundraisers supporters have organized for the family since the crash. Friends have held smaller vigils, charity events and card game tournaments to raise money for O’Malley’s recovery.

The family declined to be interviewed but shared on social media that O’Malley needs to complete more rehab and has a long road ahead of him.

“We have so many to thank for all the help we have received & kindness offered,” the family wrote. “Still so many unknowns & although it’s been slow we keep praying for continued progress.”

The O’Malleys are also taking direct donations in the mail for those who wish to donate but cannot attend fundraisers. Checks can be dropped off at Signature Bank, 7292 W. Devon Ave., in a sealed envelope labeled “JO Strong.”

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