A driver led Chicago Police on a brief pursuit through the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on the South Side Monday evening, ending in a crash that left a man dead and five people injured, police said.
About 7:35 p.m., officers pulled over a Pontiac Bonneville for a traffic violation in the 7500 block of South St. Lawrence, police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said.
When the officers got out of their squad vehicle, the Pontiac took off westbound on 75th Street, Greer said.
The car blew a red light at 75th and South King Drive, hit a Subaru in the intersection and continued fleeing, police said.
It then hit a 66-year-old man who was standing next to his stalled car on the street, which then struck a Chevrolet Cruze in front of it, police said.
The 66-year-old was taken to Stroger Hospital where he later died, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office did not immediately confirm the fatality.
Family members identified the victim as retired mechanic Willie Owens and said he died just one block from his home.
"I just feel like my daddy was stolen from me ... That's the hardest part for me," Sharday Johnson, Owens' daughter, said.
Other family members also spoke highly of the man they lost.
"He was my uncle and my father, him and my dad was close," said Cleottis Love, Owens' nephew. "He taught me everything I didn't learn from my father, everything that I wanted to learn."
Witnesses said the father of four was holding his truck battery when he was hit in the crash.
"He would do everything, a handyman," Love said. "There was nothing he couldn't do."
Two women in the Subaru were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn. One of them, age 88, was listed in serious condition, and the other’s condition was stabilized, police said.
Another two women in the Chevrolet were taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where they were treated and released, police said.
"They should have slowed down, or stopped or something," said Owens' family friend Al Grey. "You know, sooner or later, something's going to happen and look at all what happened."
The Pontiac’s driver, a 26-year-old man, was taken to Saint Bernard Hospital and Health Care Center, where he was treated and released into police custody.
Charges were pending early Tuesday morning.