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A single mother of five was killed when a suspect fleeing police slammed into her four-door Saturn, police told the Chicago Tribune. Marisol Mercado, 35, “was struck by a car at Pulaski Road and Chicago Avenue… just before midnight” on a Saturday in mid-July, according to the Tribune. “Police had been pursuing the driver because he was suspected of shooting a man in the leg about a mile away from the crash site.” Neither the suspect nor any others involved in the wreck suffered any injuries. According to her family, Mercado was a “smart, confident woman who valued education, cherished her children and loved a good meal.” She had twin daughters who “showed off photos of their mom: at her GED graduation, with babies on her lap.” Her sister told the Tribune that she was “always eager to spend time with her family.” Her niece told the Tribune that “she helped you” whenever you needed a hand.
Unfortunately, Mercado’s death, as an innocent bystander killed in a high-speed police chase, isn’t a singular incident in Chicago or the nation. According to an article published in the USA Today, “innocent bystanders account for one-third of those who are killed in high-speed police chases.” According to statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and reported in the USA Today, “about 360 people are killed each year in police chases.” There is, however, no mandatory law that requires police or families to report those killed in police chases, meaning that that number could be higher.
Perhaps the most shocking statistic about police chases is that 35 to 40 percent of them end in crashes, according to Geoffrey Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina and reported by USA Today. Alpert told the paper that the “nation’s 17,000 police department are moving toward more restrictive chase policies because chasing someone for a traffic offense or a property offense is not worth the risk of people’s lives and well-being.”
If you or someone you know has been injured or killed as a result of a police chase, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t go through it alone. Contact a dedicated Chicago personal injury attorney today.
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