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1 Dead, 2 Hurt When Cab Slams Into Building In Streeterville

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Cab Fatal Crash

One person is dead and two are injured after this taxi slammed into a parking garage in Streeterville. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 06/27/11 6:30 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — One person was killed, and two others were injured, when a cab struck a building in the Streeterville neighborhood Monday morning.

Police said the crash happened at 8:47 a.m. at Columbus Drive and Illinois Street. The Checker cab hit the parking garage attached to Embassy Suites and the AMC River East movie theater.

The cab driver, Yao Ofori, has 30 traffic citations over the past 23 years and injured another pedestrian just four years ago, CBS 2 has learned.

He has been charged with driving too fast for conditions and failing to exercise due care for a pedestrian, police said.

The person killed is a man who was on the street; it is unclear how he got there. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“There was one other victim lying on the side. We don’t know — everything is still under investigation; we don’t know how this person got there. They were determined DOA, and that’s really all I have to say at this time,” said Fire Department Capt. David Dietz.

Surveillance video from nearby P.J. Clarke’s shows the pedestrian who was walking on the sidewalk had just passed the restaurant when the cab slammed right into him.

Fire officials told CBS 2 that two others were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in serious condition.

Those two people were extricated from the cab — one of them a male driver, the other a female, CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports. Both had to be extricated.

Authorities have not said how the cab driver lost control, but it appears the cab had just crossed the intersection at the time of the crash.

As of 11:15 a.m., the mangled and distorted cab was being taken away by a tow truck.

A pedestrian in the area, Scott Watson, called the accident a “terrible, terrible scene.”

“Apparently, this poor individual has been killed. He’s been run over by the cab, and it’s a huge mess, and it’s very, very disturbing,” Watson said. “Somebody probably just got up this morning, you know, thought they were going to work, and you know, we’ve got all the police and the ambulance and everything, and it’s disturbing; it’s upsetting.”

This is the second deadly accident that has happened at the intersection of Columbus and Illinois in the past couple of months.

On May 3, graphic artist Justyna Palka, 23, was struck and killed by a tour bus as she crossed the street at the intersection. The coach bus was making a turn from Illinois Street onto Columbus Drive when it hit Palka.

The driver of the coach bus, David Soto, 47, was later charged with DUI after police found he had cocaine in his system at the time. He was also hit with unrelated sex charges for allegedly molesting two pre-teen girls.

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