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2 Killed, 4 Hurt In Jefferson Park Crash

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Austin And Sunnyside Crash

Two people were killed — at least one of them a child — in this accident at Sunnyside and Austin avenues. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED 08/09/11 3:58 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A fun trip to the Wisconsin Dells turned into tragedy for a family and friends on Tuesday, leaving a mother and son dead and several others injured.

As CBS 2′s Derrick Blakley reports, two cars collided in the 4400 block of North Austin Avenue in the Jefferson Park neighborhood at about 8 a.m. Tuesday. The crumpled wreckage of one of cars was pushed into a pole as a result of the crash.

Jefferson Park residents who live near the intersection of Austin and Sunnyside Avenues said that intersection has been nothing but trouble, with a history of crashes. But Tuesday’s tragic accident was the worst they’ve ever seen.

A Honda, with a driver and four passengers heading for the Dells, was coming out from Sunnyside when it was crushed by a Ford Mustang that, according to witnesses, was speeding down Austin.

The crash landed in the Rodriguez family’s front yard. Two teens and a baby were riding in the Honda’s back seat.

Roberto Rodriguez said the family tried to help those young victims get out of the car, but couldn’t.

“We actually tried, but the doors was just too jammed, there was just too much damage. We couldn’t move or anything,” Roberto Rodriguez said.

Firefighters rescued all three from the wreck. But the woman at the wheel and her son, riding in the front passenger’s seat, didn’t survive.

“The driver, unfortunately, of the Honda, was unresponsive. She wasn’t talking at all, nothing,” Rodriguez said. “She just wasn’t responding and so was the passenger that was next to her. There was no response or anything.”

Authorities confirmed the mother and son died, although none of the victims’ identities have been released as of Tuesday afternoon.

As bad as the crash was, neighbors called it almost inevitable.

“Last year, I tell my neighbor that, I said, ‘Someone will die on this corner,’” Edith Firosz said.

The problem, neighbors said, is that Sunnyside doesn’t cross in a straight line across Austin, forcing Sunnyside traffic to jog as it crosses Austin. Even with stop signs on Sunnyside, drivers are forced to play a dangerous game of beat the traffic, especially in rush hour.

“I drive by this way a lot and they should have a stop light here, instead of a sign, because it’s so hard to get across here,” motorist John Pulaski said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said that a woman in her 30s and a male teenager were killed in the crash.

Three adults and one child were taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, according to a hospital representative. Two more children – ages 2 and 16 – were taken to Children’s Memorial Hospital.

All of the surviving victims were initially reported in serious to critical condition, according to the Fire Department.

As of 4 p.m., there was no word from police on whether anyone has been charged in connection with the accident.

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