A car speeds down a street in Chicago in the wrong direction Wednesday crashed into several other vehicles at an intersection, killing the 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 on Chicago’s South Side around 6 p.m. 17 on 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 after the collision, Brown said. Its two occupants were killed.
The 16 injured people were taken to area hospitals, he said. On Thursday morning, 11 people were still in hospitals – six in fair condition and five in good condition, the 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 south Chicago suburb, earlier Wednesday, and a long rifle was found inside the vehicle, Brown said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged motorists to slow down on city streets.
“Obviously, this is a terrible tragedy coming as it does on the eve of Thanksgiving,” Lightfoot said at the press conference after the crash. “When you’re driving at that high speed, anyone you hit, whether it’s a car or a pedestrian, will significantly reduce their ability to survive.”
Investigators are working to determine exactly how fast the Charger was going before the crash, Brown said. Traffic cameras in the area captured part of the vehicle’s journey, he noted.