At least two people were killed and 16 more hurt when a speeding Dodge Charger which had been reported stolen caused a violent multivehicle wreck in Chicago Wednesday evening, officials said. Seven children were among the injured.
The crash occurred at about 5 p.m. local time in Chicago’s South Side neighborhood of Chatham.
In a news briefing, Chicago police Superintendent David Brown told reporters that the Charger was traveling the wrong way “at a very high rate of speed” when it collided with seven other vehicles. It then “immediately caught fire upon impact,” Brown said.
The two occupants of the Charger both died at the scene, Brown said. Their names were not immediately released.
Seven children and nine adults were hospitalized with unknown injuries. Their conditions were not provided.
The Charger had been reported stolen out of the suburban Chicago city of Markham earlier Wednesday. A firearm, described as a long rifle, was also found in the Charger, Brown said.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters that the city has already seen about 100 traffic-related fatalities so far this year, “and a lot of those are related to speed.”
“It is a significant issue, and we’re doing everything that we can,” Lightfoot said. “But people are determined to ignore the speed limit. There’s very little that we’re going to be able to do, other than, really get more aggressive, about frankly, arresting and locking people up.”