CHICAGO — A violent car crash in west Humboldt Park Sunday morning sent five people to the hospital, including two with critical injuries, while a demolished fire hydrant caused the street to flood.
Police say around 7 a.m. Sunday, an officer saw a car break a traffic law, and discovered it was stolen. As the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver tried to get away by stepping on the gas, but crashed instead. After hitting a CTA van, the vehicle leveled a fire hydrant, sending water gushing through the intersection of Augusta and Pulaski.
Authorities say a 21-year-old man was ejected from the car. He and a 20-year-old woman were taken to Stroger Hospital and are listed in critical condition. Three others between the ages of 17 and 20 were taken to Stroger Hospital with less-severe injuries.
Sohbi Nasser owns a convenience store across the street, and witnessed the aftermath of the crash as he opened up the shop Sunday morning.
“When I came, I saw everything over there," Nasser said. “A car smashed up, all complete gone. I seen a tow truck trying to get the car out – and a lot of water here. It was a mess.”
Neighbor Louis Armstrong says the impact was so forceful that it caused serious damage to the car and the corner.
“I didn’t even know the fire hydrant was that long – they really had to hit that thing hard to take it out the ground like that," Armstrong said. “Man, what I see here is horrible, and then to hear that there were some young people in the car, that’s kind of confusing and distracting.”
The water department and other construction workers spent the afternoon repairing the damage, and neighbors say the accident was avoidable and senseless.
The intersection was still under repair Sunday night, and the injured are still in the hospital.
No word yet from police on the charges they’ll face.