Driver Charged With DUI in Crash That Injured 9 Kids

Police said the vehicle lost control and rolled up a grassy embankment

By Kim Vatis
|  Friday, Aug 2, 2013  |  Updated 11:23 AM CDT
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Eleven people were injured when a Chevy Suburban lost control near 101st Street after midnight and rolled up a grassy embankment, landing on its roof.

Eleven people were injured when a Chevy Suburban lost control near 101st Street after midnight and rolled up a grassy embankment, landing on its roof.

The driver of a Chevy Suburban that lost control on an expressway outside Chicago has been charged with DUI and child endangerment in the crash that injured nine kids.

Illinois State Police said Tonica Conwell, 30, of the 11000 block of South Vincennes Avenue in Chicago was driving south on I-57 when she veered from the road after midnight on Friday.

The vehicle rolled up a grassy embankment near 99th Street before landing on its roof, police said. Witnesses told police the vehicle was "traveling at a high rate of speed" when it rolled into the embankment.
 
Conwell was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and nine counts of child endangerment and received seven child restraint citations. She is the mother of several of the passengers, police said.

In total two adults and nine children, ages 3 to 14, were transported to area hospitals with no-life-threatening injuries, three to Roseland Hospital, one to Advocate Christ Medical Center, four to St. Bernard Hospital and two to Metro South.

Police said the Suburban was the only vehicle involved. A witness told police the driver appeared to attempt an abrupt lane change and lost control.

Eleven people were inside the vehicle at the time of the crash.

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