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Officer tied to deadly police chase testifies

James Sivicek felt a vulnerable dread when his squad car went into a tailspin after he hit another motorist during a frantic police chase on the South Side.

“It felt like an eternity,” the Gresham District patrol officer testified Thursday.

“I remember a complete sense of helplessness.”

Sivicek, who was driving with his partner by his side, was chasing an armed robbery suspect when he hit Jacqueline Reynolds at the intersection of 76th Street and Yates Boulevard.

Reynolds died from the impact of the May 8, 2013, collision.

The armed robbery suspect, Timothy Jones, was charged with 59-year-old Reynolds’ murder and is standing trial before Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson this week.

Timothy Jones, 22, waits for the jury and opening statements at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Wednesday Feb. 18, 2015. Jones is charged with the murder of Jacqueline Reynolds for allegedly leading police on a fatal chase on May 8, 2013. Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson presides. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/pool)

Timothy Jones, 22, waits for the jury and opening statements at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago on Wednesday Feb. 18, 2015. Jones is charged with the murder of Jacqueline Reynolds for allegedly leading police on a fatal chase on May 8, 2013. Cook County Judge Thaddeus Wilson presides. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/pool)

Jones’ attorney Keith Spence said the officers pursuing his client were responsible for Reynolds’ death because they neglected to follow department policy and procedures during the chase.

Sivicek on Thursday said he had his sirens and emergency lights on as he went after Jones, who never stopped or slowed down as he fishtailed and drove erratically at a high rate of speed.

Seconds after he saw Jones blow through a red light at 76th and Yates, Sivicek said his police Tahoe hit a blue car.

Once the squad car stopped spinning and “I realized I was still alive,” Sivicek said he checked on his partner.

He walked his partner to the sidewalk and then went to check on Reynolds and the passenger in a silver car that Reynolds’ car hit because of the impact of the initial crash.

Sivicek said he noticed Reynolds was unresponsive and with the assistance of another officer, gave her CPR.

Reynolds was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Jones, seeing the officers were distracted, took the opportunity to run out of the car and escape, but he was caught a few blocks away, prosecutors said.

Before the chase, Jones and another man had allegedly held up Lee Davis in his first-floor apartment in the 7800 block of South Ellis Avenue.

In addition to murder, 22-year-old Jones faces charges of home invasion, armed robbery and residential burglary.

Jones’ trial is the first in which cameras are allowed in a courtroom at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Earlier this month, cameras were allowed in the sentencing hearing of cop killers Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor.