CHICAGO (CBS) — Formal charges are expected Monday against an off-duty Chicago police officer who plowed his personal vehicle into a Gresham restaurant, killing a woman who was sitting inside.
Police have said the 24-year-old officer’s blood alcohol level was .083, just over the legal limit, when he crashed into Tony’s Philly Steak, at the corner of 87th and Wood around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.
Marquita Reed, a nurse, and mother of two, died after she was pinned under the off-duty officer’s vehicle.
Reed, 34, was sitting inside Tony’s Philly Steak when the officer’s Toyota came crashing through the wall.
Police said the officer told them he was driving east on 87th Street when another car heading west turned in front of him, and he swerved to avoid the vehicle. The off-duty officer made a sharp turn, jumped the curb, and hit the building.
“It happened so fast that I don’t even think he had enough time to hit the brakes,” said Jerrell Desmond, who witnessed the crash.
Reed was pinned under the officer’s car. She was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. Another woman inside the restaurant suffered a leg injury, and the officer suffered a neck injury.
Police said the officer, who has been on the force for three years, had a blood alcohol level of .083, just over the legal limit.
The officer was arrested for driving under the influence and was being questioned at the Morgan Park District station. Formal charges were pending Monday morning.
“This officer will be treated just like anybody else. The charges are still pending with him. Once we have final approval, his information will be disseminated just like anyone else,” said Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson.
The off-duty officer was driving his personal vehicle, and Sunday was his day off. He was coming from a friend’s house, according to police.