Road Rage a "Double Tragedy"

Good samaritan recounts late-night chase that killed three

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Christopher Scotland recalls the events leading up to a crash that killed three people. Restaurant owner Agostino Fiasche expresses remorse for lives lost. (Published Friday, Jul 9, 2010)

    A deadly late-night accident appears to have begun as a case of road rage.

    It all started when 18-year-old Christopher Scotland was driving east on Chicago Avenue in his mother's minivan and noticed a Black Honda SUV that was stopped on a curb with what appeared to be an unconcious driver.

    "Usually I don't pay any mind to things like that, but I thought something really bad could happen," Scotland said.

    He turned around to help, and when he pulled up to the Honda to offer assistance, the driver – later identified as Chris McConnell, 21 of the 900 block of South Austin -- became upset that the Scotland had called the police.

    "He started driving toward me at like 15 or 20 miles per hour," Scotland said. "My first instinct was to floor it because if I trashed my mom's car she might hurt me."

    Scotland fled. The ensuing chase, which at times reached 90 miles per hour, continued until Scotland decided to run a red light at First Avenue and Chicago. At that time the minivan ran a red light as well and rammed into a Mercedes sport utility vehicle, killing its passengers.

    "All I hear is 'boom' and I see his car spinning into a house," Scotland said.

    The victims in the Mercedes, Nicholas Randazzo, 36, and Nancy Tucki, 57 -- the mother of Randazzo's girlfriend -- were killed instantly. They had been dining at Ristorante Augostino, where Randazzo's girlfriend works.  

    Augostino Fiasche, the restaurant's owner, knew both victims well. He called the accident "a double tragedy".

    McConnell was killed in the collision as well.

    His family Friday afternoon extended condolences to the families of the other two victims, though they said much of what exactly happened remains a mystery to them.

    A cousin, who would only identify himself as Kurt, said Mcconnell had just left his home in Oak Park and was on his way to visit a high school friend when the crash occurred.

    "Christopher wasn't a crackhead, or on meth, or anything like that. We don't know what led up to this," he said. 

    McConnell's family said they also have questions and reservations about Scotland's side of the story.