Updated 08/28/15 – 10:22 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) -- A couple from south suburban Robbins was killed Thursday night, leaving their three children orphaned, when their minivan was struck by two vehicles that appeared to be street racing, and blew a stop sign.
Robbins Police Chief Mitchell Davis said 43-year-old Cherise Davis-Jones was driving her family in a minivan along 137th Street around 7:40 p.m., when two speeding cars blew a stop sign at Central Park Avenue, and smashed into the minivan, which did not have to stop.
Eyewitnesses told police a 2001 Buick Regal and a 2005 Nissan Altima were speeding north on Central Park Avenue, possibly drag racing, when they ran through the stop sign at 137th Street, hitting Davis-Jones' minivan, which flipped on its roof.
The family was on their way home from a church event at the time of the event, and all of them were wearing seat belts, but the impact of the crash was too strong for the front of the van. Davis-Jones and her 59-year-old husband, Less Jones III, were killed.
"This is probably as sad as it gets. You've got parents who were in a minivan, with their three young kids. They're doing everything that they're supposed to do. They've got themselves buckled in. They've got their kids buckled in. They're going down the street, they're not doing anything wrong, and then out of the blue, their lives are just devastated, and we have three orphans now," Davis said. "They may have lost their parents, but they have not lost the Robbins community."
Davis-Jones was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was pronounced dead at 8:50 p.m., police said. Jones was taken to MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, where he was pronounced dead at 8:45 p.m.
Their three children – 8-year-old Chloe, 4-year-old Josh, and 7-year-old Less Jones IV – were being treated at Christ Medical Center, for injuries ranging from bumps and bruises to a broken leg.
Jones' 41-year-old daughter, Elmarita Fletcher, said "my family's not coping very good."
"They know that their daddy has passed away, and I know that my father has passed away. Me and my father, we was tight like this. I love my daddy," she said.
Cousin Carolyn Tarochione said it's a very hard time for the family.
"We're very heartbroken. I mean, this is a tragedy. Just ask for God to give us strength to make it through this," she said.
Investigators said there were no skid marks at the site of the crash, and two cars were traveling so fast, the debris was spread over a half-mile area.
Police said two people were in the Buick. The driver was at Christ Medical Center in stable condition, and will be taken into police custody when he's released from the hospital. His passenger was in the critical care unit at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.
Police also said two people were in the Nissan. The driver refused medical treatment, but was in police custody. The passenger was treated and released at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest.
Robbins police and the Cook County Sheriff's Office were investigating.
Robbins police say the driver of one car is in custody and the driver of the other vehicle will be arrested as soon as he is released from the hospital.
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