4 young mothers die in Chicago car crash

Four women were killed when the vehicle they were riding in hit a pole on the West Side of Chicago early Sunday, May 13, 2012.
WBBM/Steve Miller

(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Four young women were killed early Sunday when their car slammed into a light pole on the West Side with enough force that it split in two.

Chicago police spokesman Hector Alfaro said the car was speeding when it hit the beam of a Chicago Transit Authority train track just before midnight and then struck a light pole.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said three died at the scene — Tyshyra Hines, 21; Bernadette Harris, 25; and Alicia Josten, 22. A fourth woman, 21-year-old Ieshia Nelson, was pronounced dead at an area hospital early Sunday.

Harris' sister, Sheila Harris, told the Chicago Tribune that her sister was a devoted parent to three children, ages 4, 6 and 8.

Police are investigating the accident, which happened shortly after midnight.

CBS Station WBBM reports that, according to friends and relatives of the victims, all four were young mothers.

Nelson's mother, Yvette Harris, said Nelson's 2-year-old son doesn't know about his mother yet - and she is still wondering how to tell him.

"I took him to his grandparents' last night, because he couldn't go to the hospital with me," Harris said. "And I don't know what I'm going to say because when I left, he asked me, 'You going to get Eesh? My mommy?' I don't know what I'm going to say."

Harris said her daughter was the driver and that the women were on their way to a party.

She said her daughter was studying to be a nurse and had just turned 21 on May 1.

"She was just starting a new job and her baby was going to day care, and she was happy about it. And this happened," Harris said.

Hines' aunt, Pearl Henderson, said Hines worked at McDonalds and had a 5-year-old son.