4 killed, 1 critically injured in 3-car high speed Des Plaines crash

DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- Four people were killed and one person critically injured in a three-car crash Thursday night in Des Plaines, police said.

The crash occurred at 170 Northwest Highway at about 8:53 p.m., police said. Police said a Mercedes was speeding when it slammed into a Chevy Impala as it was turning into a parking lot. The impact sent the Impala 75-100 feet, crashing into a Toyota Highlander.

Three people, all family members, inside the Impala were killed. They have been identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Kevin Crawford, 52, his wife Anita Crawford, 50 and their daughter Kirsten Crawford, 20, of Arlington Heights.

The Crawfords leave behind a 10-year-old son, Christian, and a 15-year-old daughter, Hailee.

"I'm still shocked I think. Just trying to let it all in," Hailee said.

Hailee said her father was an insurance agent and founder of the Chicago Fire Juniors Gold Soccer team. He was leaving a soccer game with his wife and daughter at the time of the crash, family said.

Anita Crawford was an employee at Aon Hewitt. The company released a statement Friday:

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Anita, Kevin and Kirsten Crawford. Anita was a valuable and beloved member of the Aon family and will be sorely missed. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Crawford family and will provide the full support of the firm as they cope with this tragedy."

The driver of the Mercedes was also killed. He has been identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner as Piotr Rog, 21, of Des Plaines. Police said the impact was so severe nearly four feet of the front of the car was blown apart.

A passenger in the Mercedes was taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge in critical condition and two people inside the Toyota had minor injuries from the accident.

Police said the Mercedes was traveling at more than 100 miles-per-hour, but there is no indication drugs or alcohol were involved.

"I've been in law enforcement in the Chicago metro area for more than 40 years and this is the worst I've ever seen," said Des Plaines Police Chief Bill Kushner.

"We just heard a big boom, we thought it was another train that fell over onto the tracks and all we saw was smoke coming out from our backyard," said Sandy Wood.

Ursal Schmidt, Hailee's grandmother, is taking care of the remaining children in the aftermath of this tragedy. She has this message for the people inside the Mercedes.

She said she hopes her daughter, son in law and granddaughter are resting in peace.

"To those people - I know forgiveness is supposed to come but it doesn't right now. They are gone. We know they are in heaven and that's all we can have out of this whole thing," Schmidt said.

Northwest Highway between Mount Prospect Road and State Street was closed for nearly eight hours before reopening at about 5:30 a.m. null
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