Elderly Chicago woman killed, 10 police officers injured in multiple-vehicle crash
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An elderly woman was killed and 10 Chicago police officers injured in a multiple vehicle crash over the weekend. One man – a civilian – was also injured in the incident.
Officials said two police vehicles – a van and an unmarked SUV – crashed into each other and “several civilian vehicles” around 10 p.m. Saturday night in the Austin neighborhood. The police vehicles were on their way to an emergency call for assistance, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Twelve people – 10 officers and a man and a woman, both civilians – were transported to Norwegian American Hospital, police said.
The woman, identified as Verona E. Gunn, died of her injuries at the hospital hours later. The Cook County medical examiner’s office, which listed her age as 89, said an autopsy was scheduled from Monday.
Her son, Bishop Dwight Gunn, told FOX 32 on Sunday that Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson had reached out to the family and assured him the crash was under investigation.
On social media, he wrote his mother was inside his sister’s car, which was hit while at a stoplight. He said that his family had lost its matriarch.
“The internal injuries from the crash were too much for my 84 year old mother to overcome,” he wrote in the post. “My family will seek answers for the reckless behavior of the Chicago Police Department as we morn the loss of our mother.”
On Sunday evening, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tweeted a statement saying that their “thoughts and prayers were with all affected” by the “tragic car accident.”
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Gunn family over this devastating loss,” he wrote in a subsequent statement attributed to him.
Witness Corey Jackson told the Chicago Tribune that he was nearly struck by one of the police vehicles while biking near the scene.
“I was just in a state of shock,” he told the newspaper, adding that he jumped off his bike and hurled himself onto the sidewalk before he was hit. “When the cop cars crashed, I snapped back into reality. I was inches from them. I could have lost my life tonight.”
The police department’s Major Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the crash.
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