Several people were taken to hospitals including a child and a Chicago police officer after a car fled a traffic stop and plowed into a crowd of people Saturday night in the Near North neighborhood, officials said.
About 8 p.m. a police sergeant stopped a red Hyundai at State Street and Grand Avenue, and asked its driver to step out, according to Officer Michelle Tannehill, a spokeswoman for Chicago police.
When the motorist refused, the car sped off, hitting the sergeant and swerving into a crowd of people, hitting a little girl and at least one woman, Tannehill said.
“An auto was driving at a high rate of speed and hit some pedestrians that were crossing the street,” said Fire Chief Juan Hernandez.
The victims: two women, a child and a Chicago police officer were among those taken to hospitals. A fifth person declined medical attention at the scene, according to Hernandez, who said the child may be as young as 7.
The child was taken in fair condition to Lurie Children’s Hospital, and the adults were taken in good condition and fair condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
The officer was taken to a hospital by police and his injuries are not life-threatening, according to Tannehill, who added the driver fled and was not in custody, according to Tannehill.
As of about 9 p.m., red tape reading “crime scene keep out” blocked off the entire intersection of State and Grand.
As Joshua Schaffer walked across Grand Avenue, he passed an officer who was talking to a driver he’d pulled over. The driver reached toward his glove compartment then sped off, dragging the officer who grabbed onto the car, Schaffer said.
”He sped off, he hit a lady. The lady fell like up to here in the air and fell down on the ground,” Schaffer said, reaching his hand and standing on his toes about 8 feet high.
Schaffer started running, unsure of what might happen next.
“I’m just glad to be safe,” Schaffer said.
Check back for details.