Weather Updates

8-year-old killed in alcohol-related Christmas Eve crash on South Side


Updated: January 27, 2014 12:54PM

An 8-year-old girl was killed on Christmas Eve in what police said was an alcohol-related crash on Christmas Eve when a car rolled over and hit a tree on the South Side.

Rescue workers found a Chevrolet Impala on its side around 11:15 p.m. in the 1000 block of West Garfield Boulevard. The roof of the car caved in, according to Larry Langford, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.

Crews worked for more than 40 minutes to extricate a 26-year-old man from the vehicle, and it wasn’t until they were inside that they noticed the girl also was pinned in the vehicle, according to police and fire officials.

Lauren Smith, 8, of the 5600 block of South Wolcott Avenue, was taken to the University of Chicago’s Comer Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 12:42 a.m. Wednesday.

The driver was taken to Stroger Hospital, where officials said he was in critical condition. He was expected to survive.

The police said the crash was alcohol-related and that the car was speeding when it hit the tree. Charges were pending.


Twitter: @mitchtrout

© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit To order a reprint of this article, click here.