Pickup driver killed in crash on South Harvard
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2012
10/11/12 at 10:17 PM
One person died and three others were being treated at area hospitals after a violent, high-speed crash Thursday evening on busy South Harvard Avenue.
Police said three young men had to be extricated from a pickup that came to rest upside down with its bed rammed into a utility pole near 54th Street. The pickup had traveled almost 300 yards south of where it clipped a curb and then the side of a bridge before going airborne, then rolling, then sliding.
A fourth man transported to a hospital was the occupant of a second vehicle involved in the collision, which occurred about 6:50 p.m.
Elise Cruchon said she was driving ahead of the pickup and witnessed the dramatic crash in her rear-view mirror.
“It was like a tornado had picked something up,” she said. “It was airborne and turning over and over and over. It was so high it was crazy. Then I saw it land on its top and start spinning and sliding.
“I almost rear-ended the car in front of me; it was coming so fast, and we were slowing down to turn. I just whipped around the car in front of me.”
Police Sgt. Brian Carlisle said investigators believe that the pickup had been involved in a hit-and-run accident on Harvard just north of Interstate 44 in the moments before the fatal crash.
“I don’t know if there was a medical emergency or if they were fleeing the scene of the initial collision,” Carlisle said. “Due to the high rate of speed, it continued on for quite a ways, so there is a long field of debris to be measured (by traffic investigators) and cleaned up.”
EMSA spokeswoman Kelli Bruer said an 18-year-old man in fair condition and a 25-year-old man in serious condition were taken to St. Francis Hospital, while a 19-year-old man and a 57-year-old man, both in fair condition, were taken to St. John Medical Center.
Police did not release the names of the deceased or injured.
Harvard Avenue is expected to be closed until at least 11 p.m. from 51st Street to 54th Street as investigators survey the scene and firefighters clean debris from the roadway.