The driver, who has been charged with reckless murder, was driving in the wrong lane at 75 mph when he crashed into a car he was trying to evade police on the South Loop last weekend.
Kendall Sprouts, 18, collided with a Hyundai Sonata that was making a U-turn around 8 p.m. Sunday on Block 1400 of South Michigan Avenue, prosecutors said at Sprouts’ initial hearing. .
Hyundai driver Keyshawn Javon Gray, 22, was stopped by police but then took off, Chicago police and prosecutors said. According to traffic reports and a video of the crash, as he tried to turn at Block, he was side-ramped by the Infiniti his G37, which Sprout was driving.
After the initial crash, two parked cars collided with three other vehicles, including a Jeep Compass driven by a 32-year-old woman and carrying two teenagers, officials said.
The video shows Gray beginning to pull into the opposite lane as Sprout allegedly rams into the Jeep, apparently preventing the SUV from a direct hit.
The sonata flipped over and Gray was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead, officials said. An 18-year-old Hyundai passenger has been taken to hospital and is in good health. A third passenger, his 21-year-old man, was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.
Sprouts, who was captured by a police officer’s body-worn camera as he stepped out of the driver’s seat of the Infinity, was identified as the Jeep’s driver and passenger, a 14-year-old boy and police and a 13-year-old girl, according to reports.
Shortly before the crash, Sprout narrowly missed getting out of his patrol car and attacking an officer who approached Sonata for a traffic stop, prosecutors added.
Sprouts was charged with reckless murder and aggravated reckless driving and turned himself in for not slowing down. He was ordered to hold $20,000 in custody.
He is a wide receiver on the Morgan Park High School football team and attends St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he plays football.
Noting that Sprouts had no criminal record, Rotunno said her client did not drink, do drugs or have tattoos, telling Judge Kelly McCarthy, “He was not in danger of escape and could be held in custody.” There is absolutely no reason to do so,” he said.
“This is a terrifying and sad situation,” added Rotunno. “But I think what the state proponents are missing, Judge, is that the cars that are pulling away from the police are fleeing from the police.”
McCarthy said $2,000 would have to be put in for Sprouts to be released, and ordered him not to contact anyone involved in the crash. His next court date he has set for December 12th.