08/22/2005

Woman killed by carjacker fleeing from police in Chicago suburb

The Associated Press

DOLTON, Ill.- A man fleeing from police commandeered a car with four people inside and then crashed into another vehicle, killing a woman and injuring seven other people in the two cars, authorities said.

Police in this southern Chicago suburb questioned procedures that led to the failure to stop the fugitive before the crash.

Seneca Allen, 21, of Harvey, was charged with 41 felony counts, including first-degree murder, driving under the influence, vehicular hijacking and aggravated battery to a police officer.

Police Sgt. Kevin Glaser of neighboring Calumet City said the incident began there early Sunday when officers were sent to investigate a report of a fist fight.

Glaser said Allen attacked one officer, injuring his knee, then forced the driver of a passing car out of her seat and drove off, with her and her three passengers still inside, he said.

Three squad cars from Calumet City and two from Burnham, which shares police radio frequencies with Calumet City, pursued the hijacked car until it ran a stoplight in Dolton and struck the other car, police said.

A passenger in the second car, America Rodriguez, 22, was killed and two other people in the car were injured, authorities said. Allen and the others in the commandeered car also were injured.

Dolton officials said that if they shared radio frequencies with Calumet City, as Burnham does, they could have been ready to help halt the speeding car in their town.

"We hope people see the reasonable conclusion that shared frequencies could have changed the situation," Dolton police spokesman Sean Howard said.

Calumet City police said they were reviewing their chase policies.

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