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Chicago crash: 2 dead, 8 injured in horrific Chatham pileup near 87th, Cottage Grove; car at fault was stolen, police say

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CHICAGO (WLS) — Two people were killed in a horrific wrong-way crash on Chicago’s South Side Wednesday night, officials said.

Seven vehicles were involved in the crash near the intersection of 87th and Cottage Grove in the Chatham neighborhood.

A black Dodge Charger was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Cottage Grove at a “very high rate of speed” around 5 p.m. before entering the intersection and striking seven cars, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said. The Charger then stopped in traffic, facing southbound, and immediately caught fire, killing the two occupants in the vehicle.

“This is a really bad crash,” Chicago Fire Department spokesperson Larry Langford said. “I’ve seen many, many — and this is among the worst.”

Langford said that the Charger is believed to have set off a chain-reaction crash, according to witnesses on the scene.

Thursday morning, police said eight people were transported to hospitals, in fair to good condition. Police previously said 16 people were injured.

Three women, three men and two children, a 10-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, were transported to hospitals with injuries.

The Dodge Charger was reported stolen out of Markham earlier in the day Wednesday, according to Brown. A “long-rifle type of firearm” was also discovered in the Charger, Brown added.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot stopped at the scene, urging that people slow down.

“This is something that we can control. Just take your foot off the gas and obey the local speed limits,” the mayor said.

Last year, there were approximately 150 traffic-related fatalities in Chicago, Lightfoot said, adding that the city already has 100 so far this year.

“A lot of those are related to speed,” Lightfoot said. “When you’re going at that high-rate of speed, anyone that you hit –whether it’s a car or a pedestrian — you significantly dimish their ability to survive,”

The Chicago Police Department’s Major Accidents division is on the scene investigating the cause of the crash.

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