$15M settlement for mom of 6 killed in Chicago police squad car crash clears city council committee

Mother of 6 hit, killed by CPD vehicle during police chase in Lakeview in 2020

ByLeah Hope and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Monday, September 19, 2022
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The Chicago Finance Committee approved a $15M settlement with the estate of Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez, who was killed after she was struck by a CPD vehicle.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago's Finance Committee approved a $15 million settlement with the estate of a woman killed in a crash with a CPD squad car during a police chase in 2020.

A Chicago police squad car hit Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez' vehicle during a chase on the night of June 3, 2020, in Lakeview. The 37-year-old woman died as a result of her injuries and left behind six children. The youngest was just six years old at the time.

On Monday, the city's Finance Committee agreed to a $15 million settlement, which will next go to the full City Council for final approval.

WATCH: Full police chase

"She had to be extricated from her car by the Chicago Fire Department and was taken to the hospital and into emergency surgery where she died," said Mary Ruether, an attorney for the city of Chicago. "There will be enormous sympathy for the family of Ms. Franco-Martinez, who endured such a tragic event. And if a jury were to aware damages, it could be significantly more than the settlement amount of $15 million dollars.

Marcel Oliver was charged with murder in Francisco-Martinez' death, as he led police on the chase across the city that led to the crash, according to CPD.

Oliver, who lived in Fernwood, was driving a dark-colored Jeep about 8:15 p.m. near 115th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue when officers noticed it was possibly wanted for several crimes in the nearby suburbs, police said. They tried to curb the Jeep in the 9400-block of South Union Avenue, but it took off and led police on a chase into Irving Park on the Northwest Side. Oliver's car allegedly reached speeds exceeding 100 mph.

He crashed the Jeep near Irving Park Road and Keystone Avenue and ran to a nearby gas station, where he stole an idling 2016 Nissan SUV at 9:54 p.m., police said. He left the gas station and took off east on Irving Park Road with police in pursuit.

While chasing the Nissan with their sirens activated, a marked squad car slammed into a Ford Explorer traveling north on Ashland Avenue, police said. The driver, Francisco-Martinez, was taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she died.

Her family said she was on her way home from her first day at a new job.

"This was terrible, heart wrenching story," said Ald. Nicholas Sposato, 38th Ward. "It's just a terrible thing."

"I'm sad to see this happen and see so many young kids be left behind," said Ald. Jason Ervin, 28th Ward.

Francisco-Martinez' daughter, Jaritzi Escobar, said she called her mother for hours that night.

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"I thought someone stole her phone with everything going on," she said. "My siblings were waiting for her, looking out the window for 30 minutes straight. She never got home. That lady was my best friend."

The squad car spun out and and hit a Hummer stopped at the red light, police said. The Hummer's driver, a 62-year-old man, and two passengers, a 29- and 44-year-old woman, were all taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition.

Two officers were injured in the crash, as well and were in fair condition, police said.

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Oliver drove the stolen Nissan back to the South Side before crashing into a pole in Bridgeport, police said. He tried to run from the scene but was taken into custody at 10:13 p.m. in the 800-block of West Pershing Road. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in serious condition.

Illinois State Police said the Jeep was wanted in connection with at least one homicide.

Area Three detectives and the CPD Major Accidents Unit were investigating.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.