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Resident describes chaos after Miller accident

AreMiller is shown where 62-year-old man driving car with Californilicense plates lost control his car drove inseven chilren two adults

Area in Miller is shown where a 62-year-old man driving a car with California license plates lost control of his car and drove into seven chilren and two adults Tuesday. | Christin Nance Lazerus~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 30, 2014 12:37PM



GARY — A woman who lives in the Miller apartment building where seven children and two adults were struck by a car Tuesday said the scene was chaotic.

The resident, who didn’t wish to be identified, said her daughter heard the screams around 4 p.m. and called 911.

“The police and ambulance were here quickly,” she said. “Within two or three minutes they were on the scene.”

The victims were identified as 3-month-old Hulse Morris, 21-month old Jazmine Morris, 21/2-year-old Tyrese Morris, 7-year-olds Secret Smith and Xaniya Montgomery, 11-year-old Jamon Hills, 13-year-old DeShawn Eckles, 27-year-old Jesneshia Morris and 45-year-old Vincent Robinson.

The victims — two of whom were airlifted to Chicago — remain hospitalized, though the extent of their injuries is unknown.

A 62-year-old man was driving the car, but his identity has not yet been released by police. Police do not know if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash. There were no brake marks visible at the scene on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a chaotic scene, the woman said, because the youngest child fell and landed under the car and one of the girls landed on the windshield. She said the paramedics worked on the baby, who apparently wasn’t breathing for a short time and rushed him to the hospital. Some of the other children suffered scraped knees and other injuries, she said.

The driver told police that he had turned right onto Miller Avenue from Lake Street when he lost control of his car, hopping a curb and hitting the pedestrians on the south side of Miller Avenue, near the Hancock Street intersection.

Few signs of the accident remain at the site Wednesday: a chip in the curb, paint where the car scraped a brick apartment building, and concrete blocks sit askew from where the maroon sedan with California plates hit a planter.

The resident thought the family may have been walking home from the Lake Street business district, She said the scene was littered with cotton candy, she said.

“The mom was distraught,” the building resident said. “I just pray everything will be OK.”

She said Miller Avenue and Lake Street have experienced much heavier traffic recently with a portion of U.S. 12 east of Lake Street closed for construction and access to the road via Grand Boulevard is blocked off as well.



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