New details are emerging in a fire accident that left two people dead and at least 16 others injured, including seven children.
Chicago police say the crash happened in the 8700 block of South Cottage Grove around 5 p.m. Wednesday.
A Dodge Charger, which had been reported stolen earlier in the day in suburban Markham, was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes at high speed when it reached the street intersection with 87e Street.
The Charger collided with seven different vehicles inside the intersection before coming to rest in a nearby corner, where it burst into flames.
Police say the two occupants of the vehicle were both pronounced dead at the scene.
A total of 16 other people, seven children and nine adults, were transported to area hospitals. No immediate update was given on their condition.
The Chicago Police Department’s Major Accidents Unit is investigating the accident, and Cottage Grove and 87e Both streets remain closed.
It is not currently known how fast the Charger was traveling or if it was involved in a drag race at the time of the collision. Pod cameras captured part of the crash at the intersection, but the scene is still being reconstructed by investigators.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot spoke to police at the scene and delivered remarks at a press conference after the crash, calling on area residents to slow down and avoid dangerous actions at the flying.
“It’s something we can control: release the accelerator,” she said. “It’s something we’re going to have to sort out city-wide, and in the meantime, if people don’t respect themselves or others… we’re going to have more tragedies.”
Lightfoot says the scene of the crash made her and the Chicago Police Superintendent “sick.” David Brown urged residents to slow down and exercise caution while driving, especially during the holidays.
“Speed kills, and she did that tonight,” he said.