Police Were Searching for a Suspected DUI Driver Driving a Jeep Wrangler Before the Crash that Killed 4 Family Members on Route 53 Involving that Jeep Wrangler

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Four family members – two of them children – were gone in an instant this weekend when a driver plowed into their car on a northwest suburban road. CBS 2’s Steven Graves reports. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Illinois State Police and firefighters and paramedics from Rolling Meadows responded about 11:34 p.m. Saturday, February 20, 2021 to a report of a crash with entrapment with debris across the roadway on northbound Route 53 on the bridge over Kirchoff Road. A second ambulance and extra fire equipment for extrication were requested by 11:38 p.m. by Rolling Meadows Truck 15 on the report that victims were trapped in the crash. Arlington Heights police and Rolling Meadows police also responded to the crash.

Rolling Meadows fire command upon arrival on the scene reported possibly three vehicles involved with two vehicles with substantial damage. The substantially damaged vehicles were a black Jeep Wrangler and a blue Ford Fiesta. The third vehicle is believed to have been stalled, and crash victims from the Ford Fiesta were stopped on the roadway to assist the motorist and 17 year-old family member who had been driving the stalled vehicle. The Ford Fiesta was rear-ended by the driver of the black Jeep Wrangler.

Firefighter/paramedics worked with extrication tools to free victims from a wrecked blue Ford sedan that was hit from behind by a black Jeep Wrangler. A family member later told CBS Chicago that one of the victims in the Ford Fiesta was ejected after a seat belt was broken by the force of the crash.

Palatine Fire Department Ambulance 84 was dispatched as the third ambulance by 11:42 p.m.

Illinois State Police discovered at about 11:45 p.m. that the black Jeep involved in the crash was reported as being driven by a possible DUI driver on eastbound I-290 near North Avenue near Northlake just before 11:13 p.m. Saturday. The trip time from North Avenue on I-290 and Illinois Route 53 to the crash scene at Route 53 over Kirchoff Road is 16 minutes according to Google Maps traffic directions.

The driver of the black Jeep Wrangler was identified by Illinois State Police as Lamar M. Graves, age 32 of Bellwood, Illinois.

Schaumburg Fire Department Ambulance 52 was assigned as the fourth ambulance by 11:46 p.m.

One child was transported to Northwest Community Hospital and the other child was transported to Level 1 Trauma Center Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. Both children were later pronounced dead at each hospital. The children’s identities were released by the Illinois State Police as a 17 year-old male from Schaumburg, and a 6 year-old male from Chicago. Their names were withheld.

The driver of the black Jeep Wrangler, Lamar M. Graves, was transported in custody to Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village with minor or non-life-threatening injuries.

The Illinois State Police Traffic Crash Reconstruction Officer (TCRO) was requested by midnight for the two confirmed fatalities at the scene. Stacy S. Harris, a 45-year-old female from Schaumburg; and Herlanda L. Harris, a 47-year-old female from Chicago were pronounced dead at the scene. The women are sisters.

Arlington Heights Fire Department Ambulance 3 was dispatched as the fifth ambulance about 12:09 a.m. Sunday.


Following the Illinois State Police (ISP) District 2 Troopers and the TCRO response to the two-unit traffic crash involving four fatalities, the Illinois State Police described that the preliminary investigation indicated the following occurred when the vehicles crashed at 11:33 p.m. …

The driver of Unit 1 (the black Jeep Wrangler) was traveling on Illinois 53 northbound at Kirchoff Road in Cook County. Unit 2 (the blue Ford Fiesta) was stopped on the right shoulder. For unknown reasons, the driver of Unit 1 veered off the roadway to the right striking the rear of Unit 2. The impact forced both Unit 1 and Unit 2 to cross all lanes of traffic and come to rest on the left shoulder (near the median barrier). The driver of Unit 1 was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The driver and all 3 passengers of Unit 2 were pronounced deceased. The crash is still under investigation. The on-scene investigation continued until about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, and Route 53 was re-opened about 5:45 a.m.

The wrecked vehicles were transported with a police escort to a police holding area in Elgin. Illinois State Police District 2 Headquarters is located in Elgin.

A two-vehicle crash late Saturday night in Rolling Meadows left four people, including a 6-year-old boy dead and another person injured, according to police. WGN’s Meghan Dwyer reports. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Investigation of the fatal crash on Route 53 over Kirchoff Road in Rolling Meadows that killed four family members. YouTube Tips ⓘ

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