Four people were killed and one person critically injured early Thursday in a crash on Chicago's northwest side.
A 911 call just before 3 a.m. Thursday alerted authorities to the crash in a service alley behind a Lowes store on the 2600 block of North Narragansett Avenue. It wasn't immediately known who placed the call but responding officers found a BMW 328xi smashed into the wall of a building.
The impact was near propane tanks behind the store and was “five feet from blowing the whole place up,” said Elliot Musial, an investigator for the police Major Accidents Unit.
Officials initially suspected street racing might have been involved but a review of surveillance footage from the area indicated that wasn't the case. The area is a well-known spot for illegal racing, Musial said.
"On the surveillance video from the store you see the vehicle come into frame. It's moving at a very high rate of speed. It appears to get partially sideways and then it crashes into the abutment on the side of the building," he said.
The roof of the vehicle had to be torn off so first responders could gain access. Four people -- three men and one woman -- were confirmed dead as of 5:30 a.m. Two were pronounced dead at the scene and two others were pronounced at Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center. A second woman was listed in critical condition at Loyola University Medical Center.
Musial said it first appeared that no one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt. He later said the driver and front-seat passenger were buckled in but three passengers in the rear of the car were not.
The victims' identities were not publicly released as of 8:30 a.m.