A fatal Illinois auto accident that occurred early Sunday morning in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood has resulted in a 16-year-old minor being charged with first-degree murder, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting. The teenager crashed a stolen Range Rover while being chased by police, striking and killing a Chicago 911 dispatcher who was driving home from work.
The minor is being charged as an adult with first-degree murder, burglary, DUI, failing to stop at a red light, and disobeying a stop sign. The teen’s name is not being released.
The tragic incident started when officers conducted a traffic stop at the intersection of W. Blackhawk St. and Elston Avenue around 6:15 AM for a red light violation occurred at Elston and Webster. When police got out of their vehicle, the driver reversed towards the officers and hit a police supervisor’s vehicle.
Chicago police then pursued the Range Rover, which was a stolen vehicle that is owned by a resident of Bellwood, Illinois. The driver sped north on Elston, then turned onto W. Cortland St., turned north on N. Ashland Ave., and next went west on Armitage to Damen Avenue.
The driver made a few more turns and then collided the victim when he disregarded the stop sign at North Hoyne Avenue and Armitage. The police chase lasted between 1.5 to 2 miles.
The victim, a 42-year-old woman, was later identified as a 911 dispatcher who was heading home from her place of employment at the time of the crash. She was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center where she was pronounced dead less than an hour after the accident. An autopsy is scheduled to take place on Monday.
Accident witnesses are stating that the 911 dispatcher’s car hit a fire hydrant after the impact with the Range Rover. The SUV hit a parked car after the first impact. The teenage driver tried to flee the scene of the accident through an alley, but was caught by police and arrested.
The minor was taken to an area hospital after the collision, and will remain in police custody. Witnesses report the teenager sustained a head injury in the accident.
There were no passengers in either vehicle, and no one else was injured.
The investigation is being handled by Grand Central Area detectives and the Major Accident Investigation Unit of the Chicago Police Department. The defendant is to appear in criminal court on Monday at Branch 66, 26th and California.
In a case such as this, our hearts go out to the victim and her family. As far as a civil claim is concerned, the facts above raise an issue that injury lawyers at our office have dealt with several times in the past.
Typically, when a car is stolen, the insurance policy on that stolen vehicle will not cover damages caused to other people’s property and personal injury. The victims injured will usually have to fall back on their own insurance coverage and have their accident lawyer prosecute a uninsured motorist claim.
Click here to read more about Illinois uninsured / underinsured cases.
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