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Suit: CPD chase on I-55 led to woman’s death

Antonio Hernandez | Illinois Department of Corrections

The family of a woman killed in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 55 in 2009 claims Chicago Police officers should have terminated the pursuit of a drunken driver before he slammed into their vehicle.

Antonio Hernandez was fleeing officers when he drove southbound into the northbound lanes of I-55 near Halsted about 2 a.m. Aug. 1, 2009, according to a lawsuit filed by Margaret Nwaeke-Anthony’s husband Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The 38-year-old woman was in the passenger seat with her husband at the wheel when Hernandez’s vehicle slammed into them. The West Englewood resident was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she died within the hour, authorities said at the time.

The suit accuses the city and two CPD officers of “reckless disregard” for committing to a high-speed chase that put other motorists at risk.

Also named as defendants are six Chicago Fire Department paramedics for failing to provide medical help “in a timely manner,” the suit says.

A city Law Department spokesman said the suit had not yet been reviewed and declined to comment Friday night.

Nwaeke-Anthony is survived by her husband and three children, according to the four-count wrongful death suit, which seeks at least $200,000 in damages.

Antonio Hernandez, who turns 30 on Sunday, was arrested at the scene of the crash and pleaded guilty in 2012 to aggravated DUI and reckless homicide, according to court records. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and is eligible for parole in March 2018.