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Updated 03/25/12 – 10:08 a.m.
CHICAGO (STMW) — A horrific scene played out on the Southwest Side Saturday evening after a hit-and-run driver fled one accident only to plow into a second car, killing a toddler and her 5-year-old brother inside.
In the wake of the 6:30 p.m. crash near 45th and Western, a witness described watching a distraught woman run from victim to victim, trying to help a 10-month-old child still strapped into a car seat lying on the street, the 5-year-old in the back seat of her demolished car and a gasping, bleeding man slumped over the wheel.
Julissa Ochoa, 10 months, of 4250 S. Artesian Ave., was pronounced dead at 7:36 p.m. at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
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Her brother — identified by the medical examiner’s office as Eric Ochoa, 5, of the same home address — was pronounced dead 21 minutes later at 7:57 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital.
“My baby! My baby!” the woman screamed, according to the witness, who asked not to be identified. He said the woman appeared to the mother of the dead children. The family was in the car that was hit by the hit-and-run driver.
“It was crazy, she was going crazy,” the witness said.
The woman pleaded with the man in the driver’s seat of her car: “Babe, wake up! Babe, wake up!”
It started at the intersection of 45th and Western when the driver of an SUV got into a minor fender-bender with a second car. The driver of the SUV drove off at a high rate of speed, heading south on Western, police said.
The SUV crashed into an oncoming green Dodge Neon about 100 yards away from the first crash. When emergency crews arrived, they first tended to the injured in the SUV before bystanders pointed out the gravely wounded kids in the demolished Neon.
The driver of the SUV was arrested and taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Initial reports indicated the children were 19-months and 6-years old.
The police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is investigating the accident.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)