UPDATED 04/20/12 11:39 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — An overnight crash took the life of a mother from the Englewood neighborhood and left three others injured on busy South Halsted Street.
As CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, around 9:30 a.m. Friday, Chicago Police cleared away the wreckage from the accident and reopened the affected stretch of Halsted Street, between 71st and 76th streets, which had been closed since the crash happened around 2:10 a.m.
But the police Major Accidents Investigation Unit is still looking into the crash, which took the life of a mother.
Police say the fatal, fiery crash was the fault of a wrong-way driver, and alcohol was a factor.
The 24-year-old driver of a red Pontiac Grand Prix was alone in his car, headed south on Halsted Street, when his car crossed over the median line and hit an oncoming gray Grand Prix head-on.
Laquesha Simmons, 28, was a passenger in the car that was struck. She was ejected from the car and died. Her distraught father, Larry Simmons, was out surveying the wreckage Friday morning, and was coming to terms with his personal toll.
“(Police) said they were coming down the street in that gray car, and this red car jumped in front of them. And I don’t believe it. My daughter died,” he said.
Laquesha Simmons worked at the Sears store downtown, and was a student at Olive-Harvey College. She leaves behind two children.
“Good person, kind-hearted, took care of kids, you know, enjoyed life,” said Deandre Newell, a friend of the victim’s.
Larry Simmons talked to his daughter not long before the crash.
“I spoke to her last night at like 10:30,” he said. “She told me she was going home…. She stayed right by that corner, and she never made it.”
Another passenger and the driver of the gray Grand Prix, both 24-year-old women, were being treated Friday morning at Stroger Hospital of Cook County. Both were listed in serious-to-critical condition.