CHICAGO — Two people were killed and 16 others were injured on Wednesday after a person driving a stolen vehicle struck seven other cars in Chicago, authorities said.
The accident occurred in the Chatham neighborhood in the city’s South Side, the Chicago Tribune reported.
According to the Chicago Police Department, a black Dodge Charger, which had been reported stolen earlier in the day in suburban Markham, was traveling northbound in the southbound lanes at a high rate of speed when it reached an intersection at about 5 p.m. CST, WMAQ-TV reported.
The Charger then stopped in traffic, facing southbound, and immediately caught fire, killing the two occupants in the vehicle. Both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene, the Tribune reported.
Paramedics needed at least 10 ambulances to respond to the crash, Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Merritt told reporters.
“Obviously there was a high rate of speed involved, an extremely high rate of speed,” Merritt said.
Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford said the Charger is believed to have set off a chain-reaction crash, WLS-TV reported.
According to Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown, nine children and seven adults were in the other vehicles that were struck, the television station reported. They were taken to area hospitals, and at least four people were in critical condition, WLS reported.
One car had flipped over and the one that caught fire was “completely disintegrated,” Merritt said, according to the Tribune.
“It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve seen many accidents,” Merritt told reporters.
“We have to slow down,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said at a news conference. “What I’m fearful of is the people who are out walking on the sidewalk, crossing the street or other cars like we saw here tonight.”
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