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On Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at approximately 12:30 a.m., a Park Forest Police Officer on patrol observed a vehicle driving southbound on Western Avenue at a high rate of speed. Prior to the officer being able to turn around and stop the speeding vehicle, the vehicle turned Eastbound onto Algonquin Street into a residential area, out of the officer’s sight. The officer drove Eastbound onto Algonquin Street to attempt to locate the vehicle. The vehicle was seen again traveling at a high rate of speed, now traveling westbound on Allegheny Street and then westbound on Algonquin Street. The vehicle again sped out of sight before the officer was able to turn the patrol vehicle around. When the officer was able to turn around and travel westbound where the vehicle was last seen, the vehicle was found to have left the roadway, striking a utility pole and tree. The driver of the vehicle fled the crash scene on foot. At no time was there any police pursuit, nor were the emergency lights or siren ever activated on the police vehicle involved. The Suburban Major Accident Reconstruction Team (SMART) was activated, responded, and is investigating the crash.
In addition to the driver, there were two passengers in the vehicle when it crashed. The front seat passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the rear seat was extricated from the vehicle and transported to St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields where he later died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Both passengers were teenage males and their identities have not yet been confirmed. At this time we believe that alcohol was a factor in the crash. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office is scheduled to perform autopsies on both victims today.
The vehicle involved was found to have been reported stolen on June 1, 2015 in Ford Heights, IL.
Shortly after the crash, a male subject entered St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights with injuries consistent with those sustained in a vehicle crash. Park Forest Detectives responded to the hospital, where it was learned that this individual was in fact the driver of the stolen car that had crashed. The 22-year-old driver was treated for minor injuries and released into police custody. Park Forest Detectives continue the investigation. Anyone with any information regarding the crash is urged to contact the Park Forest Police Detective Division at 708-748-1309.
The thoughts and prayers of the Park Forest Police Department are with the families of the two victims.