The moment two fast-moving Chicago police vehicles with their emergency lights on collided at an intersection, before crashing into a stationary car and killing an 84-year-old retired teacher Verona Gunn, has been caught on different CCTV.
According to the Associated Press, the video was received from a lawyer representing the woman’s family.
It shows a police van going through a red light and striking another police vehicle. Both then both slam into the family car, killing Verona Gunn and injuring three others.
The Memorial Day weekend collision also injured 10 police officers. Authorities have said the accident involved police vehicles and a civilian car, but couldn’t say definitively who caused it because the investigation was ongoing.
A relative had called and said his mother, Verona Gunn, had been in an accident. But he didn’t immediately connect the news with the scene unfolding in his Austin neighbourhood.
“There were sirens everywhere going off, police lights up and down North Avenue,” Dwight Gunn said. “You’re wondering what’s going on. Did somebody get killed? Did somebody get shot?”
It turned out that his mother’s car was in the middle of the wreckage. After a frantic search through his neighbourhood and making calls from his office, Gunn learned she had been rushed to a hospital where she later died.
The Gunn family lawyer, Andrew M. Stroth, told the AP that the police vehicles violated department rules that dictate officers responding to calls slow as they approach intersections to ensure they can proceed safely.
Dispatchers had said there were reports of someone with a gun nearby, which, according to Stroth, is not an extraordinary report for Chicago.
“This was a response to standard call for service and it was not a police pursuit,” the family attorney said. “It did not necessitate officers drive in a reckless manner. As a result, the matriarch of the family was killed.”
The family car, a Toyota sedan, had stopped at around 10 police vehicles passed through the same intersection before the crash, Stroth said. The car was still idling when the collision occurred.