CHICAGO (CBS) — A 10-year-old girl was killed and her 5-year-old brother was critically injured Wednesday afternoon, when a car fleeing from police caused a crash in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported, the children were in the car with their dad to pick up a laptop so the girl could start e-learning. Following the deadly crash, the Chicago Police Department’s chase policy is once again in question.
“This a 10-year old kid,” said Daria Quinn, the children’s aunt. “You took her life.”
Family was inconsolable outside the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital after learning a violent car crash killed Da’Karia Spicer, 10. Her little brother Dhaamir, just 5, was severely injured in the wreck. Their dad Kevin, 43, was also injured.
“My nieces and nephews are like my babies,” Quinn said.
Chicago Police say they tried unsuccessfully pulling over a black car for traffic violations – presumably this badly-damaged Mercedes Benz with dealer plates that ended up crashing into the Spicers’ car.
The driver of the black car did not stop for police, and instead the tried getting away. But first, that driver hit a gray car driven by a 57-year old woman while fleeing west on 80th Street, and the driver finally slammed into a tan car with the Spicer family inside after turning onto Halsted Street.
Kevin Spicer and the woman in the other car were both taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in good condition.
“It was a police chase, and one of the cars that got hit flipped over, and it hit the car that my brother-in-law and my niece and nephew were in,” Quinn said.
The newly-revised CPD Internal Pursuit Policy requires officers to conduct balancing tests – weighing the need to arrest the people in the car versus the potential danger caused by the pursuit.
Officers may not start a chase when the most serious offense is a traffic violation, and chases must end once there is a crash.
Supervisors monitor and manage all pursuits.
“I can’t accept this,” Quinn said. “Whoever did this, I just really hope that they get what they deserve.”
Police were questioning a person of interest in the crash Wednesday night.
We did question police on whether a formal pursuit was authorized and if so, whether it ever called off at any point. A spokesman said that is all under investigation.
Police released the following statement: “This is a devastating loss of life and our sincerest condolences go out to the family and all those impacted by this tragic incident. The Civilian Office of Police Accountability has been notified of this incident and will conduct an investigation into this matter. CPD’s Major Accidents Investigation Unit will also conduct a thorough investigation of this event.”