Two people inside a sport-utility vehicle were killed, and nine others inside the packed SUV were injured, when it collided head-on with a car early Saturday in the Lawndale neighborhood.
A 2003 Mazda SUV with 11 people inside was northbound in the 1300 block of South Kostner Avenue when it swerved across the center lane into oncoming southbound traffic and struck a 1995 Ford Probe head-on about 3 a.m., police said.
The crash caused the SUV to flip over, throwing some passengers who were not wearing seatbelts out of the vehicle and entrapping others, said Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford.
"The driver was climbing out of the car," one witness told NBC Chicago. "She was just as in shock as everybody else. All I could do was instantly start praying."
Eight ambulances were dispatched to the crash, where responders found one person dead on the scene, Langford said.
"I didn't have any emotion. I couldn't because I couldn't believe it. I couldn't feel anything because I couldn't believe it was real," said Marquita Riddle, friend of one of the deceased victims.
All 11 people in the SUV were injured, police said, while the driver of the Ford -- the only person in the car -- was not hospitalized.
Early Saturday, police believed three people had been killed in the crash, but later corrected the total number of fatalities to two. A spokesman for the Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed two fatalities early Saturday afternoon.
Jarrell Billingsley, 19, of the 5900 block of West Walton Street, was pronounced dead at 3:50 a.m. at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, according to the medical examiner's office.
A woman in her 40s was pronounced dead at 3:52 a.m. at Stroger Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office. Her identity remained unknown as of 3 p.m. Saturday.
Two people were taken in good condition to Loretto Hospital, two were taken in unidentified conditions to Stroger Hospital and three people were taken in unidentified conditions to Mount Sinai, police said.
The police Major Accident Investigation Unit is investigating.