Woman driving SUV with 11 charged in deadly crash

May 2, 2011 11:00:44 AM PDT
A woman faces 15 charges and nine people were recovering after an accident in the West Side Lawndale area that killed two.

The accident happened about 3 a.m. Saturday morning in the 1300-block of South Kostner Avenue. A 39-year-old woman was charged Sunday with 15 counts including driving under the influence.

Kimberly L. Bradley, 39, of the 1300 block of North Parkside Avenue, was charged with the following 15 counts: two felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence (DUI) involving a motor vehicle accident resulting in death, seven felony counts of aggravated DUI involving a motor vehicle accident resulting in great bodily harm, one felony count of DUI involving a motor vehicle accident resulting in great bodily harm to a passenger under 16, one misdemeanor count of DUI, one misdemeanor count of driving to left of center, one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, one misdemeanor count of DUI - Blood Alcohol Content 0.08 and one count misdemeanor count of operating a motor vehicle without Insurance.

Eight ambulances were dispatched to the crash, where responders found one person dead on the scene, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

"We just came running down and instantly we saw the baby right here on the ground. We're just like, 'Oh my God,'" said witness and Lawndale neighborhood resident Shante Robinson. "There were people in the car crying, trying to get out."

It was a chaotic scene as paramedics and firefighters attended to the victims. The emergency brought ambulance after ambulance to the site of the two-car wreck.

Shaunquita Smith and Marquita Riddle say they know at least one of the crash victims who died.

"We don't know exactly where they were coming from or what happened. I was awakened early this morning," Riddle said.

Investigators say the crash happened when a 2003 Mazda SUV with 11 people inside traveled north on South Kostner and for some reason swerved across the center line into oncoming traffic, hitting a 1995 Ford Probe. According to the Cook County medical examiner, the impact caused the SUV to flip over, killing 19-year-old Jarrell Billingsly and a woman in her 40s.

Rescuers say several people were thrown from the vehicle because they were not wearing seatbelts.

"I'm trying to deal with it, but it's going to be hard to let my friend go," said one of the victim's friends Maurisha Smith.

The driver of the Ford Probe, who was the only occupant of that car, was not taken to the hospital.

Early Saturday, police believed three people had been killed in the crash, but later corrected the total number of fatalities to two.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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