CHICAGO (CBS) — Exclusive video obtained by the CBS 2 Investigators Thursday showed the moment a Chicago Police squad car slammed into a sport-utility vehicle on the city’s North Side the night before, killing a woman.
Police were chasing a suspect who was wanted for multiple crimes in the suburbs. On Thursday, CBS 2 Investigator Megan Hickey was asking whether the chase broke with police policy.
Chicago Police on Thursday said the chase was under investigation by the Civilian Office of Police Accountability. The horrific crash was captured on video at the intersection of at Ashland Avenue and Irving Park Road, and it is difficult to watch.
Flowers and a splintered tree trunk mark the spot 37-year-old Guadalupe Franco-Martinez lost her life Wednesday night.
As seen in the video, a marked CPD vehicle with emergency lights activated ripped through the intersection and collided with a Ford Explorer with such force that the vehicles burst into flames – lighting up the night sky with a flash of light.
Then, the squad car spun out and struck a Hummer, injuring the driver and two passengers in the car.
“It was like apocalypse, man – flames everywhere, black smoke riding up, and we thought, s**t – that’s a cop car, dude,” said witness Matt Fusello.
The cop car was one of many that had been tracking the homicide suspect on an hour-long, high-speed police chase across the city.
At one point, the suspect crashed into several cars near Irving Park Road after exiting the Kennedy Expressway.
He then ran to a gas station at Irving Park and Pulaski roads, stole another car and kept driving.
Scanner traffic reports that police stopped chasing at one point.
But the pursuit apparently picked back up – following the offender, who was clocking speeds of at least 100 mph.
Eventually, the driver hit a pole, and after a short chase on foot was arrested miles away in the 800 block of West Pershing Road.
We wanted to know – did the fatal police chase pass the balancing test in the CPD’s pursuit policy?
The order says the need to apprehend the suspect must outweigh the level of inherent danger caused by the pursuit. On Thursday, Chicago Police did not comment on whether or not it was justified – only that the whole chase is now under investigation.
Two officers had non-life threatening injuries.
The suspect was transported to University of Chicago Medical Center where he is listed in serious condition.
Illinois State Police said the vehicle he was driving was wanted in a homicide and charges were still pending late Thursday.