A man who recently passed his written entrance exam with the Chicago Police Department has been charged in a crash that killed a toddler last month in Bronzeville.
Freddie Jones, 23, is charged with reckless homicide in the June 22 crash that killed 2-year-old Skylar Dixon, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He appeared for a bail hearing Wednesday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
Jones recently passed the Chicago Police written exam and is scheduled to take his physical exam on Saturday, according to his attorney, Anthony Boyle. Jones is currently considered an applicant, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
Jones was released from custody Wednesday after posting $1,500 bond, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.
About 6:10 a.m. the day of the crash, 23-year-old Dyanna Davis was taking her friend’s two children to daycare and driving east on 49th Street at King Drive when Jones drove through the intersection as he headed north on King Drive, according to prosecutors and Chicago Police.
Jones drove through a red light and slammed his 2016 Dodge Charger into the passenger’s side of Davis’ Hyundai Elantra, prosecutors said.
The impact of the collision, which was captured by a surveillance camera, caused Davis’ car to spin 180 degrees, slide across the westbound lanes of traffic and crash into a street light, prosecutors said.
Jones was not hurt in the crash and remained at the scene, prosecutors said. According to Boyle, Jones got out of his vehicle after the collision and helped to get Davis and the children out of the vehicle.
Dixon died of her injuries three days after the crash at Comer Children’s Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Her death was ruled an accident.
Davis was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in serious condition and the boy was taken to Comer in critical condition and was hospitalized for a week, authorities said.
Davis was subsequently charged with a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, according to police. She was also cited for driving without insurance, failing to wear a seat belt and child restraint violations.
Prosecutors said both children were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.
An investigation of the crash found that the traffic light Jones disobeyed stayed red for an additional eight seconds after the crash, prosecutors said. Jones was driving 55 mph in a 30-mph zone before entering the intersection and was driving 40 mph at the time of the crash.
Prosecutors said Jones’s license has been suspended on three occasions for previous traffic violations.
Boyle said his client was devastated by the crash and had stayed at the scene afterwards and cooperated with police. Jones is a U.S. Army veteran who was honorably discharged and was seeking to become a police officer. Jones was supposed to take his physical exam on the day of his hearing Wednesday, Boyle said.
“He is going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life,” Boyle told Judge David Navarro.
Boyle said he planned to look into whether the children were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and whether Jones had a green light. Jones’ parents could help him post up to $1,500 bond, Boyle said.
Navarro said that regardless of whether the children were wearing seatbelts, Jones should have been driving carefully and not speeding.
“We should all be driving as if everyone is not restrained,” Navarro said.
Navarro denied a request from prosecutors to have him placed on electronic monitoring if he posted bond, but the judge forbade Jones from driving while the case was ongoing.
“While you’re out on my bond you will not be driving, understand?” Navarro asked Jones, who nodded in reply.
If convicted of a felony charge, Jones would be disqualified from becoming a Chicago Police officer, according to Guglielmi.