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Woman Caused 7-Vehicle Crash, Then Fled To Pick Up Kids

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(Credit: (ThinkStock)

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UPDATED 12/09/11 11:33 a.m.

NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) – A Naperville woman accused of touching off a chain reaction accident has some big troubles that go beyond the crash.

As WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports, Rhonda L. Fitzpatrick, 37, is now facing charges including aggravated battery for the incident, which started about 5:12 p.m. on Nov. 11, the Naperville Sun reports.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s David Roe reports

Fitzpatrick was at the wheel of her 1999 Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle when police say she rear-ended a Ford Windstar minivan that had stopped at Oak Bluff Court and Washington Street.

Five more vehicles then crashed into each other in a chain reaction, Bell said, and the drivers got out to assess the damage.

“Ms. Fitzpatrick was insistent upon leaving,” Bell said, and put her SUV into reverse, striking two of the vehicles behind hers.

Police say Fitzpatrick jumped out of her SUV and tried to commandeer the minivan, saying she had to go pick her children up.

The owner of the van tried to stop Fitzpatrick from driving off, and ended up being dragged several feet, Bell said.

The van owner was not seriously injured, Bell said. Fitzpatrick then stopped and got out of the minivan, got back into her SUV and drove away, he said.

She surrendered last week after a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Fitzpatrick is also charged with criminal trespass to a vehicle, reckless driving, failure to give information or aid following an accident, knowingly damaging property, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and driving with a suspended license, authorities said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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