Driver Charged in Crash That Killed Off-Duty Officer

Shanell Terrell, of the 12300 block of South Throop Street, was charged with first-degree murder and possession of cannabis following the crash

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    Officer David Harris, 42, was killed Friday morning during a high speed chase. He was off duty at the time.

    A 31-year-old Chicago woman has been charged with murder in connection to the fatal crash that killed an off-duty Chicago police officer following a police chase early Friday.

    Shanell Terrell, of the 12300 block of South Throop Street, was charged with first-degree murder and possession of cannabis following the crash, according to Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office.

    Police Escort Ambulance Carrying Officer's Body

    [CHI] Police Escort Ambulance Carrying Officer's Body
    Chicago police officers escort the ambulance carrying the body of another officer who was killed in a crash. Other officers stood at attention outside the office of the Cook County Medical Examiner. (Published Friday, March 14, 2014)

    Prosecutors said Terrell was driving a van being pursued by Calumet Park Police when she plowed into an off-duty Chicago officer in a black Lexus Friday morning.

    David Harris, 42, was driving a Lexus in the 8700 block of South Lafayette at about 1 a.m. when he was hit by a white van. The impact from the van pushed the Lexus into a light pole.

    Wrong-Way Driver Stopped by Police

    [CHI] Wrong-Way Driver Stopped by Police
    The eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 near Michigan City, Ind., remained closed early Friday morning after a deadly, massive pileup on Thursday afternoon. But one driver somehow made it through the road closure and was stopped by authorities during a live report on the NBC 5 NEWS TODAY. (Published Friday, Jan. 24, 2014)

    Harris was still in his police uniform and was heading home to his wife and two children after work.

    Chicago police said Calumet Park officers were chasing the driver in the van on Interstate 94. The van exited at 87th Street and collided with the Harris' Lexus in what police Supt. Garry McCarthy called a "terrible tragedy."

    "He dedicated his life to protecting our residents and communities, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues," he said.

    In a statement, the Chicago Police Department noted his award-winning career.

    "Police Officer David Harris, killed in a traffic crash while off-duty last night, was a Chicago Police Officer for 10 and a half years. In that time he earned 87 Department Awards, including two Department Commendations, a Joint Operations Award, and a Unit Meritorious Performance Award."

    McCarthy said in a statement that the charges were a "measure of justice for Officer Harris."

    "These charges are a measure of justice for Officer Harris as well as his family, friends, and colleagues, though the pain of his loss makes the news bittersweet," he said. "On behalf of the entire Chicago Police Department, I would like to express deepest condolences to the Harris family."

    Terrell's father said in court Sunday that her boyfriend was responsible for getting her involved in the chase, and insisted his daughter was innocent.

    "My daughter does not do drugs, she doesn’t get high, period," said Will Terrell. "She has three daughters."

    Terrell's bond was set at $10 million dollars Sunday afternoon.