Chicago to pay $15M over woman’s death in police chase crash

Sep 21, 2022, 1:00 PM | Updated: 1:27 pm

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago City Council approved a settlement on Wednesday that will pay $15 million to the family of a woman who was killed when a police cruiser ran a red light and slammed into her SUV after officers allegedly ignored repeated orders to end their high-speed pursuit of a carjacking suspect.

Without discussion, the council approved the settlement with the family of Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez, a mother of six who was 37 years old when she died. The move was widely expected after its finance committee agreed with the city’s law department that the wrongful death lawsuit should be settled rather than allow it to go to trial and risk having to pay an even greater amount.

“There will be enormous sympathy for the family of (Francisco-Martinez), who endured such a tragic, tragic event,” the law department’s counsel, Mimi Ruether, said before committee unanimously authorized the settlement on Monday, the Chicago Tribune reported.

If the case had gone to trial, a jury would have been presented evidence outlined in the lawsuit, including a number of radio dispatches in which the pursuing officers were ordered to end their chase before the crash. Further, the lawsuit contended that the officer who struck Francisco-Martinez’s vehicle was driving well over the speed limit and disregarded a red traffic light at the intersection where the collision occurred.

The crash, which prompted revisions of the police department’s vehicular pursuit policy, occurred on the city’s northwest side on the night of June 3, 2020. Francisco-Martinez was coming home from her first day on a new job when, with the green light, she drove into an intersection where the officer slammed into her vehicle with a marked police cruiser.

The driver of the vehicle that police were chasing remains in the Cook County Jail, where he is being held on $1 million bail on charges of first-degree murder, vehicular hijacking and other counts.

The department came under criticism for that chase as well as others that ended with crashes. Last year, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that a “pursuit litigation analysis” prepared for Mayor Lori Lightfoot concluded that 180 out of 270 police chases in 2019 ended in crashes, including crashes in which a total of eight people died.

The city is defending itself in another lawsuit filed by the family of an 84-year-old retired teacher, Verona Gunn, who in was killed in 2019 when a police cruiser crashed into a police van in an intersection and careened into a car in which she was a passenger.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. poses for a portrait outside of his home on Dec. 5, 2018, in Blade...
Associated Press

Plea agreements reached by 4 in NC Congress ballot probe

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Four people pleaded guilty on Monday to misdemeanors for their roles in absentee ballot fraud in rural North Carolina during the 2016 and 2018 elections. The convictions stemmed from an investigation that in part resulted in a do-over congressional election. Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway accepted the plea agreements in Wake […]
15 hours ago
FILE - This undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service shows Leonard Francis, who was on h...
Associated Press

Navy bribery fugitive ‘Fat Leonard’ seeks Venezuelan asylum

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The fugitive defense contractor nicknamed “Fat Leonard” who orchestrated a huge bribery scheme involving dozens of U.S. Navy officials, has requested asylum in Venezuela, a law enforcement official said Monday, nearly a week after he was captured in the South American country. Leonard Glenn Francis slipped away from house arrest in […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, speaks during a Senate Appropriations sub...
Associated Press

US expands, extends Myanmar immigration status to May 2024

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Biden administration said Monday it is expanding and extending temporary legal status in the United States for several thousand people from Myanmar after a military coup last year in the Asian country. The decision extends Temporary Protected Status for 18 months for an estimated 970 people of Myanmar until May 25, […]
15 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the ...
Associated Press

CBO: Biden’s student debt plan would cost $400 billion

President Joe Biden’s plan for student debt cancellation will cost the federal government about $400 billion over the next 30 years, according to new estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. The figures were released Monday in response to a request from Republican lawmakers who oppose Biden’s plan in large part because of its costs. They […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Shooting suspect believed to be on run with his daughter, 15

FONTANA, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman was shot to death Monday in a domestic violence incident and police said the suspect is a man believed to be on the run with his 15-year-old daughter. Officers responding around 7:30 a.m. to reports of gunfire found the victim with multiple gunshot wounds at a home […]
15 hours ago
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cameroon Lejeune Mbella Mbella addresses the 77th session of the Un...
Associated Press

Live updates: U.N. General Assembly

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly: CAMEROON Cameroonian Foreign Affairs Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella says it’s more urgent than ever to finalize the rules for implementing the Paris climate agreement. And in particular he hopes that progress will be made on financial resources for developing countries combating the effects of […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Chicago to pay $15M over woman’s death in police chase crash