CHICAGO — A 2-year-old girl was killed, and several others injured, when a vehicle being chased by police hit another car and crashed into a tree.
Officers were attempting to pull over a black Chrysler at 107th Street and Michigan Avenue late Sunday night, when the driver took off. The vehicle hit a white Acura sedan a few blocks away, then struck a tree. Danyla was ejected from the car.
The toddler, identified as Danyla Owens, was not strapped into a car seat. She later died at Roseland Community Hospital.
Danyla's father, who was the 21-year-old driver of the Chrysler, was arrested. A weapon was recovered from the vehicle. Charges are pending.
Two people in the Acura and two passengers in the Chrysler were injured.
Family members are mourning the loss of Danyla. They said they were at a loss for words, and are wondering why this happened.
"I don't know what was going on with those young people that they would put a baby in a car with no car seat. I just don't know. I don't know what the kids were thinking," Tracey Johnson, the child's aunt, said.
The 21-year-old’s grandmother said he’s gone through a lot since his brother was killed almost three years ago. Next week will be the anniversary of his death. Andre Taylor was just 16, and a standout athlete and student at Julian High School, when he was shot in the head and killed near his home.
“I don’t know if that was the reason that he was out here reckless, because he’s been going through it. We tried to get him to do grief counseling. He wouldn't do it,” Johnson said.
Betty Johnson, Danyla’s grandmother, said the 21-year-old should have stopped.
“I know he’s got to be hurting now, because that was his baby,” she said.