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'I'm Just Mad': Woman Killed By Car Fleeing Police

CHICAGO (CBS) -- David Brown was planning to take his wife Mothers Day shopping on Thursday. Instead, he'll now be using that money to pay for her funeral, after a car fleeing a traffic stop hit her and another pedestrian in the West Chatham neighborhood.

Police said officers were conducting a traffic stop at 81st and Evans during a drug investigation shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday when the gray Nissan Altima fled from officers. After driving along the Dan Ryan Expressway, the Nissan exited near 79th Street, and hit two pedestrians who were crossing the street at the intersection of 79th and Lafayette.

One pedestrian, 55-year-old Julia Callaway, was taken to the University of Chicago trauma center, where she was pronounced dead at 6:36 p.m. The other pedestrian, a 30-year-old man, was treated at the scene.

Callaway's husband, David Brown, said she was on her way to pick up their granddaughter from daycare when the car hit her.

"I'm just mad, in shock, and can't believe that this was her," he said. "I was planning on taking her Mother's Day shopping today, yesterday, when I got home; and now the money is being used for funeral services."

Julia Callaway
Julia Callaway and her husband, David Brown, pose for a family photo. Callaway, 55, was killed when a car fleeing police hit her and another pedestrian at the intersection of 79th and Lafayette on May 10, 2018. (Photo supplied to CBS)

Brown saw the crime scene hours after the crash, but only realized the victim could be his wife when their granddaughter's daycare called, and said she never arrived.

"By the time I got to the hospital, the doctors didn't come to me right away. They put me in a room, and a chaplain came in, and all the doctors came, and that's when I knew something was really wrong," he said.

Surveillance video from a nearby gas station shows the gray Nissan Altima blow through the intersection, hitting Callaway and the other pedestrian.

"I heard tires squealing, and I turned around, and the car was up on its side coming through this light. Because of the way he was driving, he was doing over 100 miles per hour," witness David Dodson said. "The lady was hit. She flew about 30 feet."

Keshia Williamson also witnessed the scene.

"I saw two bodies laying on the ground, a lady and a man," she recalled.

The car continued south on Lafayette, hitting an Uber driver's car with a child inside near 83rd Street, then hitting a Chevy Tahoe.

"We heard the boom, and they hit another car. We heard another boom, but only they hit us," recalled another witness, who asked to remain anonymous. "They got out of the car, but I thought they was coming over to see if we were okay, but they took off running."

Chicago Police say after a short foot pursuit, the offenders were taken into custody. A small amount of drugs was recovered from the Nissan.

Police expected to file charges against all three suspects.

Investigators said their vehicle was a rental, and the suspects might not have had permission to be in it.

Police shied away from calling the incident a chase, but said an investigation was underway.

"It was a simple traffic stop and the offenders fled onto the expressway. While there aren't any glaring policy violations we are doing a customary review of the incident. Additionally, the traffic safety board will conduct a normal review," Police Department spokesman Frank Giancamilli said in an email.


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