A 22-year-old man may be facing charges involving the deaths of two juveniles as he was attempting to evade Park Forest police officers, according to the city's police chief. The chief says that the car that the young man was driving had been reported stolen in Ford Heights. He says that they also believe that the driver was under the influence of alcohol.
The accident occurred not long after midnight on Wednesday, June 10 -- nine days after the car was reported stolen. A local police officer began following the vehicle after noticing that it was speeding on Western Avenue.
The crash is being investigated by the Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team. However, the police chief said that the defendant drove through a residential area in an attempt to evade law enforcement and crashed into a utility pole and tree on Algonquin Street.
One passenger was pronounced dead on arrival at Chicago Heights' Franciscan St. James Health. The other one was declared dead later. The driver suffered only minor injuries. He was treated before being taken into custody.
So far, only one of the occupants of the vehicle, a 15-year-old Park Forest boy, has been publicly identified. The police chief told the media that they will release the name of the driver "when and if charges are approved."
While obviously no amount of money can bring back a loved one who has been killed in a tragic car accident, Illinois family members have every right to pursue civil action against any driver whom they believe is responsible for that death. Civil action can be pursued in addition to any criminal penalties that the driver is facing in order to recover compensation for burial costs, lost wages and damages such as pain and suffering.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Cops: Car in fatal crash was stolen; driver tried to elude squad car," Dennis Sullivan and Quinn Ford, June 10, 2015