3 injured in fiery 8-car crash on Northwest Side, carjacking in Belmont Cragin

ByMichelle Gallardo and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Sunday, October 24, 2021
3 injured in fiery 8-car crash on Northwest Side, carjacking in Belmont Cragin
Three people were injured in a carjacking that ended in a 8-car crash on the Northwest Side early Saturday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's been a long day for those living along this stretch of Laramie Avenue in Belmont Cragin as residents sweep up the glass and debris left behind by a fiery crash Saturday morning, which left three people injured and six parked vehicles with varying degrees of damage.

"The only thing I thought, was do I need to move my car before it catches fire. There's going to be a big explosion. It was so terrible," said Elia Alonso.

Police said it all started around 1:50 a.m. in the 5100-block of West Montana when a man inside a Kia Sportage war carjacked at gunpoint.

Rather than calling 911, the man jumped a van, along with two others, and gave the offenders chase. The van and the Kia struck several vehicles before finally crashing into each other nearly two-thirds of a mile from the original incident.

The Kia burst into flames. Cell phone video taken by residents showing the immediate aftermath.

"When the car was burning, we heard a small explosion," said Melva Sanchez, whose car was among those damaged. "All of us were very scared."

"I was running in and out calling 911 to get the firemen because I was so scared of the fire," Alonso added. "I didn't know if there were people that were injured in there. I couldn't see anything."

Investigators said the carjacking victim, along with the two others with him in the van, were taken to the hospital. Their injuries not considered life-threatening.

As for the damaged vehicles, most can be fixed. A couple, however, like Veronica Arroyo's Nissan Pathfinder, were totaled.

"I started to cry," Arroyo said.." Because it was our family's only means of transportation. But we are OK, thank God. My children are OK and that's all that matters."

Police said the carjackers ran away and no one is in custody at this point. Anyone with any information that may lead to an arrest is encouraged to call detectives at Area 5.