Driver, 18, in custody after 3 passengers are killed in fiery crash following Chicago car ‘sideshow’

Chicago — An 18-year-old Aurora man is in custody after a car he was allegedly driving slammed into a pole and burst into flames, killing three of his passengers, according to a Chicago Police Department source. Video of the crash scene, recorded by a passing motorist, showed a trail of fire leading up to the vehicle’s wreckage as a person ran from the scene.

A person runs from the scene of a fiery crash that killed three passengers of a vehicle in the 10000 block of South Halsted on February 18, 2023 | Chicago Critter

According to the source, the events leading up to the crash began around 10:49 p.m. Saturday, when more than 100 cars gathered for a “sideshow” of stunt drivers at the intersection of 95th and Halsted. Sideshows, in which drivers of modified cars spin donuts in front of a large crowd at major intersections, have been an ongoing issue for the city.

A short video of the sideshow was posted on Snapchat:

Chicago police began dispersing the crowd, and drivers sped away from the intersection.

Minutes later, a 2008 Infiniti G35 driven by the Aurora man clipped a utility pole and spun sideways in the 10000 block of South Halsted, according to a Chicago police report reviewed by CWB Chicago. The car’s passenger side slammed into a brick wall and burst into flames.

Video recorded from a passing vehicle was first tweeted by the Chicago Critter account (foul language):

The driver and his front passenger ran from the scene, according to the report. Officers arrested him in the 10000 block of South Green, and he allegedly admitted to being the car’s driver. His passenger was not found. We are not identifying the man because he has not yet been criminally charged.

EMS transported the driver to Christ Hospital in serious condition, but the nature and extent of his injuries were not known.

Officials have not publicly identified the three people who died.

A spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department said that a suspect is in custody, but no charges have been made official yet. He was given citations for speeding, driving without insurance, and leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death as the criminal investigation continues.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is