Driver fleeing police crashes in Lakeview

Police say a driver was fleeing the scene of a crime when the car flipped near the intersection of Paulina and School on Chicago's North Side, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013.

January 10, 2013 2:16:10 PM PST
Police say shots were fired from a vehicle that sped through several neighborhoods before crashing in Chicago's North Side Lakeview neighborhood near the intersection of Paulina and School.

"All of the sudden, a car was coming head-on at me. It scared the hell out of me. I swerved out of the way and there were literally 20 police cars chasing after, blowing through all of the lights," Ingrid Kromer, witness, said. "I just kept thinking, oh my God, there's kids and families. . . It was scary."

The Jeep Grand Cherokee flipped in the crash, coming to rest upside down. Officers say three people were inside. One of them, a woman, was taken to a local hospital in serious condition. A second suspect, a male, was handcuffed and taken into custody near the crash. A third suspect got away.

"The woman was trying to get out of the car. She struggled, and finally found her way out. She was dizzy and out of it," Carol Courtney, witness, said.

No one else was injured.

Officials say the suspects fired a weapon at a residential building in the 4300-block of West Altgeld on the city's Northwest Side around 8 a.m. Wednesday. The bullet shattered a window.

Police responding to the call of shots fired spotted the car, officers said, and attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle took off at a high rate of speed. Officers say the driver sped through the Humboldt Park neighborhood, where the vehicle was spotted by Illinois State Police. Officers say they did not give chase because it was a dangerous pursuit.

The Jeep struck two other vehicles- one in the 1900-block of West Diversey and one in the 1000-block of West School - before it crashed near the intersection of Paulina and School streets in Lakeview.

"I saw the car whizzing by, followed by what looked like a transit police car. We all rushed out because there are a lot of baby carriages, kids," said one witness. "We ran out, I just saw the woman who was in the passenger side of the vehicle crawling out... She was very dazed."

Officers assigned to a CTA detail saw the crash. A .40-caliber handgun was found at the scene, police said. Officials used a canine unit and police helicopter to search for the third suspect, described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, wearing a blue baseball cap, black hoody, and blue jeans. He is still on the run, officials said.