Police and paramedics responded to the crash at 2 a.m. on the westbound side of Garfield Boulevard near Morgan Street. Police said the car may have been speeding when it went off the road and struck a tree.
One woman was pronounced dead atStroger Hospital while two others were pronounced dead at Holy Cross Hospital, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A fourth victim, identified as the driver, was also taken to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
KWQC News reported a fifth victim remains hospitalized in critical condition.
The women were all reported to be in their 20s or 30s. The car, a silver Pontiac sedan with temporary plates, remained in the grassy area well into the early morning hours, its front-end mangled and its right side wedged against a tree. The vehicle’s roof was missing and its engine sat in the grass at the front of the car.
Police believe the Pontiac went off the road, knocked over a small tree and then struck a larger tree 30 or 40 feet from the roadway. Wreckage from the car was strewn over several hundred feet, including a tire that came to rest more than 100 feet from the car.
Police cordoned off the roadway and the Major Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.
As of Saturday March 6, a total of 109 fatal Illinois car accidents had claimed 122 lives in 2010, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation. A total of 139 Illinois traffic fatalities occurred during the same period last year.