CHICAGO — A somber day turned tragic Tuesday when cars in a funeral procession were involved in a crash, leaving one dead and seven injured.
The body of Dennis Earl Canady, 36, was identified by his mother, Doris Bloxton, as she waited for Canady's 13-year-old daughter to arrive at Advocate Christ Medical Center Tuesday afternoon.
Bloxton said she was told the crash may not have been an accident.
"They said the car ran into them deliberately," Bloxton said. "They said it ran smack-dab into them."
Police declined to comment on her claims.
According to Bloxton, Canady, a Milwaukee resident in town for a friend's funeral, became worried three days before the crash when his office received threatening calls.
"He knew someone was going to kill him," she said of her son.
According to Bloxton, Canady was involved with gangs in his youth, but had straightened out his life. He was with his wife when the crash occurred after the funeral of a friend from his youth, Bloxton said.
Canady is survived by his three children, ages 5, 8 and 13, Bloxton said.
"I looked back there," she said after identifying Canady's body to authorities. "He looks like he's asleep."
The crash happened about 12:40 p.m. in the 10900 block of South Vincennes Avenue and involved three cars, according to the Chicago Fire Department. Eight people were hurt, authorities first reported.
Canady was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead about 2 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.
Seven people were in serious-to-critical condition and taken to local hospitals, the Fire Department said. Four of them were trapped in a car, calling for an "involved extraction," the Fire Department tweeted. One person refused medical treatment.
The Fire Department was able to get all of the trapped people out of the car by about 1:20 p.m., it said.
One of the injured people is 3 or 4 years old; another is 15, according to Fire Department spokesman Juan Hernandez. The rest of the accident victims are adults, though their genders were not available.