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Man Fleeing Police Was Going Up to 90 MPH When He Killed Man, Mother

By Erica Demarest | August 27, 2015 1:58pm | Updated on August 31, 2015 5:28pm
 Paul Forbes is charged with murder in a fatal crash that killed a 66-year-old man.
Paul Forbes is charged with murder in a fatal crash that killed a 66-year-old man.
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Chicago Police

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — This week's high-speed crash that killed a 66-year-old man also killed an 88-year-old woman and badly injured her 71-year-old daughter, prosecutors revealed Thursday.

Paul Forbes — who was driving on a suspended license, had an active arrest warrant and was trying to flee police — was going as fast as 90 mph when he crashed into several cars at 75th Street and King Drive about 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to Assistant State's Attorney Kim Przekota, who spoke during a bond hearing Thursday.

The impact wounded four people and killed Willie Owens, 66, who was standing in front of his Chevy pickup truck, which had broken down, prosecutors said. Owens' leg was severed and he was thrown 15 feet into the road.

Margaret Silas, 88, of the 11300 block of South Parnell Avenue, was paralyzed and died at 6:03 p.m. Saturday at Advocate Christ Medical Center, according to Cook County Medical Examiner's records.

Investigators gleaned Forbes' speed — estimated at between 80 and 90 mph — from data accessed from his car's airbag module, Przekota said.

Forbes, 26, now faces first-degree murder and a slate of other charges. Prosecutors on Thursday revealed the extent of the injuries Forbes allegedly caused when he sped away from a traffic stop near 75th and Maryland on Monday.

Forbes briefly paused for police, Przekota said, but when an officer opened her door and stepped out of her car, Forbes sped away, heading west on 75th Street. He ran a red light at 75th and St. Lawrence before running another light at King Drive, where he narrowly missed a northbound CTA bus and slammed into a Saturn heading south.

The Saturn went airborne and struck a fence, Przekota said. The driver, the 71-year-old woman, had multiple spinal and rib fractures. Her 88-year-old mother, who was sitting in the passenger seat, was paralyzed and suffered broken vertebrae, prosecutors said.

Forbes' silver Pontiac then crashed into Owens' truck, Przekota said. He was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital.

During that collision, according to prosecutors, Owens' truck was pushed into a Chevy sedan. The driver and passenger in that car were taken to Jackson Park Hospital, where they were treated and released for non-life-threatening injuries.

After the series of crashes, Forbes got out of his car and tried to run away, Przekota said. He was arrested after a short chase and treated for minor injuries at St. Bernard Hospital.

According to prosecutors, Forbes' driver's license had been suspended for multiple moving violations and insurance-related issues.

At the time of Monday's crash, there was an active arrest warrant for Forbes, who allegedly harassed his ex-girlfriend for several months before walking into her house and pulling a gun in November 2014. He eventually left the home and no one was hurt, prosecutors said.

On Thursday, Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Forbes held without bail.

Forbes, of the 10300 block of South Rhodes Avenue, is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated fleeing, driving on a suspended license and two counts of aggravated battery. He was also cited for running a stop sign, the infraction that originally got Forbes pulled over, according to police.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said Owens lived nearby, in the 7400 block of South Dr. Martin Luther Jr. Drive.

Contributing: Joe Ward

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