Jury awards $10M to family of woman killed in Chicago police chase crash
CHICAGO - A jury has awarded $10 million to the family of a woman killed in a crash during a high-speed Chicago police chase in 2017.
Stacy Vaughn-Harrell and her daughter Kimberlyn Myers were driving home after Myers sang at a performance in Indiana when they were hit by a car that was fleeing police and going about 50 mph through residential streets in Englewood in June 2017.
Vaughn-Harrell was killed and Myers suffered serious injuries, including a broken collarbone requiring a plate and five screws, a concussion and a lacerated liver, according to Zane Smith, an attorney for Myers and Harrell who worked on the case with lawyers Boris Samovalov and Stephen McMullen.
Vaughn-Harrell was 47 and left behind six children, three of whom are teens.
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Myers and Vaughn-Harrell’s husband, Henry Harrell, sued the city and the Chicago Police Department. A jury decided that around $5 million should be paid to each of them by the city.
City officials didn’t return requests for comment.
Before the chase, police had pulled over a white Kia they believed was present during a shooting, though they didn’t know if the shots came from the car, Smith said. A passenger got out of the car when it was pulled over, then the Kia sped off.
Police chased after the Kia in an unmarked car, with a marked car following, according to Smith, who contended this violated department policy requiring a marked car to lead a chase using both lights and sirens.
The Kia had run through four stop signs before crashing into Vaughn-Harrell’s car at an intersection.
Each of Vaughn-Harrell’s six children, including Myers, will receive money to compensate for their "grief, sorrow and mental anguish" and "loss of society," according to a copy of the jury verdict.
Myers, who was 21 at the time of the crash, had been pursuing a music career and considered Vaughn-Harrell as her "mom manager," Smith said. "When she died, Kimberlyn never sang again," he said.
Smith said the money will help Vaughn-Harrell’s children with education, buying a home or other things.
"Obviously a mother can never be replaced," he said.