CHICAGO (SCS) — An innocent woman has died after a series of crimes in the South West on Wednesday night as the four suspects crashed into the victim’s car while being chased by police.
Police say four people, all currently in custody, hijacked two women, set a van on fire and ended up crashing into the car of a 55-year-old woman, killing her. It also involved a police chase.
Just before 4 p.m., four people hijacked a woman near 34th Street and Claremont Avenue in McKinley Park, just off the Stevenson Expressway, police say. Then they hijacked another woman about two miles north of Pilsen, in the 1900 block of West 21st Place, before returning to McKinley Park — this time at 3410 S. Leavitt St. about a block away. and a half from the carjacking scene – where they tried to set fire to a van they had stolen earlier.
Police say the car thieves fled in a black Honda, and that’s when a police chase apparently began, with officers following the offenders south on Western Avenue.
According to police dispatch reports, the chase reached speeds of 60 mph.
The chase continued to 31st Street and Kedzie Avenue in Little Village, where police say the attackers rammed a Toyota, driven by an innocent woman. The woman, 55-year-old Dominga Flores, was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The police were able to arrest the four suspects and recovered two weapons from their vehicle. Charges were pending Thursday.
Meanwhile, we reviewed the Chicago Police Department’s official policy on police pursuits. The policy sets out a so-called balancing test.
Officers must determine whether the need for immediate apprehension outweighs the level of inherent danger created by the pursuit itself. They must assess the speeds involved, pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the area, as well as weather and road conditions.
Chicago police said Thursday night that the Civil Police Accountability Office is investigating because the chase and crash resulted in the death. Police said one of the reasons they were prosecuting the group was that they may have been involved in other crimes.