A car speeding down a Chicago street in the wrong direction Wednesday slammed into several other vehicles at an intersection, killing its two occupants and injuring 16 other people, including seven children, police said.
The vehicle, a Dodge Charger, was traveling “at a very high rate of speed” the wrong way northbound in a southbound lane in Chicago’s South Side around 5 pm Wednesday, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said at a news conference.
The Charger hit seven other vehicles when it entered the intersection and burst into flames following the collision, Brown said. Its two occupants were killed.
The 16 people injured were taken to area hospitals, he said. By Thursday morning, 11 people still were in hospitals – six in fair condition, and five in good condition, police said. Ten-month-old and 4-year-old girls and a 6-year-old boy were among those hospitalized.
The Charger had been reported stolen in Markham, a southern suburb of Chicago, earlier Wednesday and a long rifle was found inside the vehicle, Brown said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged drivers to slow down on city streets.
“Obviously this is a horrible tragedy coming as it does on the eve of Thanksgiving,” Lightfoot said at the news conference following the crash. “When you’re going at that high rate of speed, anyone that you hit, whether it’s a car or a pedestrian, you significantly diminish their ability to survive.”
Investigators are working to determine exactly how fast the Charger was traveling before the crash, Brown said. Traffic cameras in the area caught part of the vehicle’s journey, he noted.