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UPDATED 12/23/11 11:08 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A van slammed into a taxi downtown early Friday and caused the cab to roll over on the sidewalk next to City Hall, in an accident that sent four people to area hospitals.
The crash happened at 5:13 a.m., when a red 2000 Dodge Caravan headed west on Randolph Street slammed into a 2008 Ford Escape taxi, Yellow Taxi No. 678, at Clark Street, police told the Sun-Times Media Wire.
The van nearly broadsided the taxi, which flipped on its side and ended up coming to rest just short of the northeast corner of the City Hall complex, on the Cook County Building side, CBS 2′s Kris Habermehl reports.
The minivan came to rest in the middle of the pedestrian zebra crossing across Randolph on the west side of Clark.
Initially, it was believed that the taxi crashed into City Hall, but upon further inspection, it turned out the vehicle did not make contact with the building.
But video from the scene showed that the taxi did take down a light pole next to City Hall, on which a traffic light and street signs for the intersection were mounted.
The taxi driver was pinned in and had to be extricated right at the southwest corner of City Hall.
A total of four people were taken to hospitals in critical condition.
The 28-year-old driver of the Caravan and the 43-year-old taxi driver were taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County, police told the Sun-Times Media Wire.
Two acquaintances, a 40-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman, were riding in the back of the cab. They were both taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Sun-Times Media Wire reported.
Police told the wire the woman had a head injury and was the most seriously injured.
The Fire Department called an EMS Plan 1, which automatically sends five ambulances. Numerous ambulances were heard arriving at the scene outside the CBS 2 studios just after the accident.
Randolph and Clark streets, which are one way westbound and southbound, respectively, were blocked for the majority of the morning.
The driver of the van, whose name was not released, was cited for failure to stop at a traffic light and not having a driver’s license, Mirabelli said.