A 19-year-old man was cited with driving under the influence after his car hit a taxi, causing it to spin around and hit a light pole and injuring five people in the Gage Park neighborhood, police said.
Police were seeking felony DUI charges against Lathanniel Barajas, of the 1800 block of South Springfield Avenue, following the 2:35 a.m. crash in the 5600 block of South Kedzie Avenue, said Chicago Police Department News Affairs Officer Robert Perez. So far, Barajas has been cited with DUI, operating a vehicle without insurance, and failure to produce a driver's license, Perez said.
Of the victims, three were taken in serious-to-critical condition to area hospitals, and two others who were less seriously injured were taken to Holy Cross Hospital and Little Company of Mary Hospital in fair-to-serious condition, the Chicago Fire Department said.
Most of those injured were in the taxi, Perez said. A 19-year-old woman apparently was ejected and was initially in serious-to-critical condition at Mount Sinai Hospital, Perez said. The driver of the taxi, 41, was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center. Of the two other taxi passengers, a man, 21, was taken to Little Company of Mary, and a 19-year-old man was taken to Holy Cross, Perez said.
A 17-year-old man who was in Barajas' car was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, Perez said. Barajas and a 20-year-old man in his car were not hospitalized.
The crash happened as the taxi drove north on Kedzie near 56th Street, Perez said. Barajas was driving a Honda Accord south on Kedzie when it left the southbound lanes and hit the taxi, a Ford Crown Victoria, on the side, causing it to spin 360 degrees and crash into a light pole, Perez said.
When police arrived on scene, they found the woman who had been in the taxi lying on a nearby sidewalk, apparently after being ejected, Perez said.
Tribune reporter Liam Ford contributed.
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