Driver was going 75 mph in wrong lane when he hit a car that was eluding police in South Loop: prosecutors

Kendall Sprouts | Chicago police

A man is facing charges for his involvement in a crash that killed a man and injured several others Sunday on Michigan Avenue in the South Loop.

Kendall Sprouts, 18, was charged with reckless homicide with a motor vehicle and aggravated reckless driving causing bodily harm.

Police were conducting a traffic stop on a Hyundai Sonata around 8 p.m. in the 1400 block of South Michigan Avenue when the driver made a sudden U-turn as officers approached on foot, officials said.


Video appears to show Sprouts driving an Infiniti G-37 at a high-rate of speed into wrong-way traffic when he struck the Sonata as it was making a U-turn. Prosecutors say Sprouts was going 75 mph. 

The driver of the Hyundai, Keyshawn Javon Gray, 22, was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said. As Gray tried to turn his Sonata around, he was broadsided, video shows.

Two other passengers in the Sonata were hospitalized due to their injuries. An 18-year-old and a 21-year-old man were taken to Stroger Hospital in fair condition, prosecutors said.

Sprouts was transported to Stroger Hospital where he was listed in fair condition.

A third car, a Jeep, carrying a 32-year-old woman along a 13-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy was also struck in the crash. They were all taken to Stroger Hospital where they were listed in fair condition.

The video shows that Gray began pulling into the opposite lane as Sprouts was allegedly barreling toward the Jeep, apparently blocking the SUV from being struck directly.

Just before the crash, Sprouts narrowly missed striking an officer who had stepped out of a patrol car to approach the Sonata for the traffic stop, prosecutors added.

Sprouts was also cited with failure to reduce speed. He was ordered held on $20,000 in court on Wednesday.

He played wide receiver for Morgan Park High School’s football team and is enrolled at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he plays football, according to his defense attorney, Donna Rotunno, whose previous clients have included Harvey Weinstein.

Rotunno noted Sprouts’ lack of criminal background and said her client didn’t drink, take drugs or even have tattoos, arguing to Judge Kelly McCarthy that "he’s not a flight risk, there is absolutely no reason to keep him in custody."

"This is a horrifyingly sad situation," Rotunno added. "But judge, I think what’s missing from the state’s proffer is the car that is pulling away from police is fleeing police."

McCarthy said Sprouts would need to post $2,000 to be released and ordered him to have no contact with anyone involved in the crash. His next court date was set for Dec. 12.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.