Woman Charged After Crashing Car Into S. Side Restaurant

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Riverdale woman has been charged after she allegedly plowed a car into a Chili’s restaurant, which burst into flames injuring her and seven patrons inside the Far South Side eatery late Saturday.

About 11:10 p.m., firefighters responded to a fire and crash at a Chili’s Grill and Bar restaurant at 1750 W. 119th St., according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Joe Roccasalva.

A woman drove a green four-door Chevrolet Impala into the front southeast corner of the restaurant, Roccasalva said. The building caught fire after the crash.

Eight people were injured, including the driver, who was the only person in the car, Roccasalva said. The other victims were patrons of the restaurants. All victims were adults.

The driver, 23-year-old Joleena Ramos, of the 14100 block of South Tracy Avenue in Riverdale, has been charged with driving under the influence, damage to public property, failing to reduce speed, driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance.

She was among four people critically injured in the crash.

Two people were taken in critical condition to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Roccasalva said. Two other people were also taken in critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.

Three people were taken in serious condition to Metro South Medical Center in Blue Island, according to Roccasalva. One other person was taken in serious condition to Little Company of Mary Hospital and Health Care Centers.

The manager who was reached by phone Sunday afternoon said the restaurant is closed. He declined to give further details.

Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Roberta Waker

    Guess who will pay for the injuries and damage because she was drunk, driving on a suspended license with no insurance. She won’t – WE WILL. When is Jesse White and the court system going to crack down on these people with suspended and revoked licenses because of DUIs? They need to serve at least 30 days to dry out and their vehicles should be confiscated until they complete an AA program. If they are caught after that, jail them for 1-5 years and confiscate their vehicles for at least 5 years, depending on the damage and seriousness of injuries. Time to get these repeat offenders off the roads. Our prayers go out to the victims for a complete recovery.

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