4 women killed in car crash in Chicago

March 6, 2010 8:30:57 PM PST
Four women were killed early Saturday when the car they were in hit a tree. Police say it appears the car was speeding.The deadly accident happened in Chicago near 55th Street and Morgan. Chicago resident Bianca Sykes says she can't believe that what was supposed to be a night of fun for her sister and three of her closest girlfriends ended so tragically. Late Saturday morning, at the place where 25-year-old Toccara Jones died, Sykes agonizes over the last time she talked to her sister.

"I never should have hung up when she was calling my phone. I hung up on her. I should have talked to her right before she got killed. Fifteen or 20 minutes later, she's dead," Sykes said.

Jones, along with 28-year-old Alicia Landon, 35-year-old Jacquelion Hampton, and another friend, died when the vehicle they were traveling in struck a tree as the group enjoyed an evening of celebrating a friend's birthday.

Three of the victims lived in the Englewood neighborhood. The fourth lived in Oswego.

"Man, my only sister. I loved her. I just hate that she had to go in that way," said Claretha Landon, a victim's sister.

Investigators say it was around 2 a.m. Saturday as the Pontiac sedan - owned by Hampton - was headed westbound on Garfield Boulevard at a high rate of speed when it went off the road and struck two trees.

Englewood resident Larry Joplin heard and saw the crash.

"I just heard two booms, and I ran out of the door, and that's when I noticed the car was wrapped around a tree," Joplin said.

Family and friends of Jacqualion Hampton say she worked in health care and was a loving mother to her three children.

While Alicia Landon's relatives say she returned to her South Side neighborhood after her grandmother died and worked as a McDonald's cashier to support her 11 and 3-year-old daughters, those who knew Toccara Jones say the Englewood High School graduate was looking to make a fresh start by working in home health care and raising her 5-year-old son.

The women's deaths have saddened the community.

"We don't know what happened really. It's just so sad," Englewood resident Laura Baptiste said.

The fourth victim, believed to be the driver, died hours after the accident.

The Chicago Police Department's major accidents unit is investigating the crash.