Kia boy sped from Chicago cops at 80 mph, crashed and left his injured friends behind, prosecutors say

Chicago — A Kia boy sped away from Chicago police at 80 mph, crashed, then ran from the scene, leaving two passengers behind with broken bones, prosecutors said Saturday.

Taylor Gilbert, 18, was already on bail for another felony stolen motor vehicle case and a separate misdemeanor case involving a stolen car when police saw him driving a Kia Forte near 83rd and Vincennes on Thursday evening, prosecutors said.

Chicago cops noticed the Kia’s rear side window was broken, which is common among stolen cars, and its headlights were off. So, they popped a U-turn and tried to pull it over.

Gilbert sped away, ran a red light, weaved in and out of lanes, cut across the median into oncoming traffic, then returned to the correct lane as he reached speeds of 80 mph in a 35 mph zone, Assistant State’s Attorney Nicole Murphy said.

Taylor Gilbert | Cook County sheriff’s office

The police backed off because Gilbert was driving so erratically. But Murphy said they watched from a distance as he jumped another median to avoid traffic stopped for a red light, then lost control and crashed into a utility pole in the 9300 block of South Western Avenue, just across the border with suburban Evergreen Park.

Gilbert ran from the wreckage, but police arrested him nearby.

Two 15-year-olds, including a girl, who were riding in the Kia weren’t so lucky. One suffered a broken femur, and the other suffered broken bones, too, according to Murphy.

Police officers confirmed that the Kia had been stolen from Blue Island on Wednesday. Its steering column had been stripped.

Prosecutors charged Gilbert with possessing a stolen motor vehicle, aggravated fleeing causing bodily injury, and aggravated reckless driving causing bodily harm.

His defense attorney said he is a high school senior who is saving up for post-graduate education by working at Amazon.

However, Judge Maryam Ahmad expressed concern that Gilbert’s release could endanger others.

“This defendant is a real danger not only to the public but to people who call him friend,” the judge said. “According to the people, he left his two friends in the car with broken bones.”

She ordered Gilbert to pay $30,000 toward bail to get out of jail on electronic monitoring. He won’t be eligible for release right away, however. Ahamad also held him without bail for failing to appear in court for his pending felony stolen motor vehicle case.

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About Tim Hecke 326 Articles
Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is