CHICAGO (SUN TIMES MEDIA WIRE) - A 20-year-old man was in critical condition following a car crash early Monday on the Dan Ryan Expressway that led to him attempting to elude police officers by jumping off a bridge overlooking the Southwest Side Bridgeport neighborhood.
At 12:46 a.m., a Nissan sedan speeding south on the Dan Ryan spun out and crashed into the guard rails of an overpass above West 25th Place and South Normal Avenue, according to Chicago police.
Police squad cars near the crash soon pulled over, police said. Two people inside the Nissan, the 20-year-old and another male, spotted the officers and began fleeing.
The 20-year-old jumped off the bridge and plummeted onto a street in the 2500 block of South Normal, police said. The other male ran up the Stevenson Expressway’s inbound ramp and got away.
Chicago Fire Department paramedics took the 20-year-old to Stroger Hospital, police said. He was critically injured from the fall.
Afterward, officers searching the vehicle found a handgun, police said.
CPD originally said the officers were chasing the speeding vehicle in an attempt to pull it over. However, Chicago police spokesman Ronald Westbrooks later clarified the CPD squad cars were observing, not chasing, the vehicle when it smashed against the guardrails.
“The officers saw the car traveling fast … (and) went to the scene,” Westbrooks said. “It was a traffic crash, basically.”
Illinois State Police also responded to the crash but deferred all comment to CPD. About 1:30 a.m., the three agencies had cleared the area and all southbound lanes were reopen.
Area Central detectives are investigating the incident.