Teen charged in crash that killed man, injured 2 others

A teenage driver was in custody Wednesday after a deadly crash in Chicago's Avalon Park neighborhood.
September 27, 2013 2:16:39 PM PDT
A 17-year-old boy is facing nearly a dozen separate charges after he allegedly hit three people with a car on the South Side Tuesday night, killing one of them, police said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was charged with:
- Reckless homicide with a motor vehicle
- Aggravated fleeing and causing bodily injury
- Aggravated DUI and causing an accident or death
- Two counts of aggravated DUI and causing an accident or bodily harm
- Four counts of leaving the scene of an accident with injury or death
- Possession of cannabis, between 2.5 and 10 grams
- Driving between 11 and 14 mph above the speed limit
- Operating a motor vehicle without insurance
- Failure to reduce speed
- Three counts of failure to stop at a stop sign

The boy was driving a Volkswagen Jetta south on Blackstone Avenue near East 83rd Street about 9 p.m. Tuesday when he hit the three people who were crossing the street, police said.

The man killed, Eugene Ratliff, had turned 32 years old that day, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Ratliff, of the 8200 block of South Dante Avenue, was taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn where he died at 9:45 p.m. One of the injured pedestrians, a 22-year-old man, was taken to Jackson Park Hospital in good condition. The other, a 30-year-old woman, was taken to South Shore Hospital in "stable" condition, police said.

After hitting the three people, the boy hit a Pontiac Sunfire that was driving on 83rd Street, police said. Neither driver needed medical attention.

According to police, the 17-year-old tried to run from officers on foot initially but was taken into custody. There was no immediate word yet on whether alcohol or drugs were involved.

Ratliff was walking to his neighborhood with his cousin and another woman when all three pedestrians were hit.

Jay Thomas, the victim's older brother, had talked on the phone with Ratliff just before the accident making plans to meet and celebrate Ratliff's birthday. Thomas says he was told by witnesses that the speeding car was being pursued by police.

According to authorities there was no police pursuit. They say the car plowed into the pedestrians and another car then ran into the front porch of a house on the corner. Homeowner Clifton Muhammad was inside at the time and says he heard the crash and saw Ratliff's body.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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