Marko Niketic's death: Northbrook man charged in crash that killed Glenview teen

A Northbrook man is facing charges for allegedly speeding and causing the crash that killed a beloved Glenbrook South High School senior on Mother's Day.

According to police, 21-year-old Taeyoung Kim was driving his vehicle westbound on East Lake Avenue at a high rate of speed and in a reckless manner when he struck 17-year-old Marko Niketic's vehicle near the intersection with Meadow Lane.

Niketic was killed as a result of the impact. Kim has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, and reckless homicide – among other charges. His blood alcohol content surpassed the legal limit, police said.

He is due in court on May 18.

Niketic was well-liked and well-respected, according to his classmates.

"He was the most genuine human I’ve ever met," said Preston Shute, a close friend of Niketic.

The tragedy unfolded in the final weeks of the school year, just days before prom – set for Saturday, May 18 – and graduation on Sunday, June 2.

"That was my best friend and it’s really hard to process right now," said Shute.

Niketic was driving a silver Mercedes that was split in half upon impact. It appeared a Mustang crashed into the teen’s car, sending debris through a wooden fence, and all over the street and sidewalk.

"It’s really heartbreaking, I’ve never seen anything like it with the car like that, it’s unrecognizable," said Inessa Kaufman, family friend of Niketic.

Niketic was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Glenview paramedics took two people to Lutheran General Hospital and the other to Evanston Hospital. The driver of the Mustang — later identified as Taeyoung Kim — was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. The two others – one passenger from each vehicle – were listed in critical condition.

A witness says moments before the crash, the Mustang passed him driving westbound on Lake Avenue.

"All of the sudden, [the Mustang] went around me, turned off his lights, and floored it," said Nathan Clark.

The crash happened blocks away from Niketic’s home.

A student who says Niketic was his best friend tells FOX 32 Chicago they planned to room together next year at Miami-Ohio University.

Image 1 of 5

"I can’t even imagine what his parents are going through, the most sweet parents in the world. They’re absolutely amazing," said Shute. "I was going to room with him next year for college. We always talked about the future. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a future."

As classmates, friends and loved ones who were visibly distraught visited the site of the accident Monday, a memorial of flowers, crosses and handwritten notes grew larger.

"I just knew he was a good kid and always [had] good things coming from him," Kaufman said. "There's nothing bad to say about this kid. He was the popular kid around the school and always [had] something good he would do for the school too."

Students formed a prayer circle near the memorial at various points of the day on Monday.

"Rest in peace, Marko, my best friend, I’ll see you again one day," said Shute.

On Thursday, Niketic's funeral was held at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville.