Police: Fleeing suspect crashes vehicle, kills man in Elgin

Eric Horng Image
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Fatal Elgin crash involved fugitive
A man was killed in a crash involving a fugitive in northwest suburban Elgin Tuesday evening.

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- A man was killed in a crash involving a fugitive in northwest suburban Elgin Tuesday evening.

Police say they were not chasing that man who was wanted by federal authorities when he went through a stop sign and hit another driver who ended up dying. The crash sent one of the vehicles crashing into the side of an Elgin home.

The impact left the two vehicles mangled, including a 2002 Mazda MPV and a 2011 Nissan Maxima, which police say, was driven by 34-year-old Steven Luellen.

"There were some witnesses in the area closer to the intersection than the officers were that describe him as going at an extremely high rate of speed," said Cmdr. Glenn Theriault, Elgin Police Department.

The crash happened shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday at the corner of Jefferson and Liberty in Elgin. Police said it began Tuesday when officers attempted to stop Luellen, an Illinois Department of Corrections inmate on parole who was wanted on some warrants.

"He fled the scene of that traffic stop. We did not pursue him. Unfortunately four blocks later, he left at a high rate of speed and ignored a stop sign on a very busy roadway here," said Cmdr. Theriault.

"It was like loud, like a bomb. Not a big bomb, but a big sound, impact you know," said Erick Soto, Elgin resident.

Luellen suffered non-life threatening injuries, but a woman in his car was injured critically. The man in the minivan was taken to Sherman Hospital, but did not survive.

"It took some time due to the extent of the damage on the vehicle and the placement of the vehicle, it took some time to get that individual out of the car," said Cmdr. Theriault.

The impact send the minivan tumbling into a home where 8-year-old Sammy Garcia and his family were inside.

"I heard like a little strange noise. Then when I got out I saw smoke everywhere," said Sammy Garcia.

No one was injured in that home. On Tuesday night, Luellen was in custody at St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates. Police say he was wanted on a warrant stemming from a previous charge of fleeing and alluding police.

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