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DUI charges filed in I-57 crash that injured 9 children

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Updated: August 2, 2013 1:32PM

A 30-year-old Chicago woman was charged with DUI after she lost control of the SUV she was driving on Interstate 57, causing a rollover crash that injured nine children early Friday on the South Side.

Witnesses told state police a 1997 Chevrolet Suburban was speeding in the southbound lanes of I-57 near 99th Street when the driver apparently lost control about 12:20 a.m. and the SUV rolled over into the right embankment, Illinois State Police said.

At the time of the crash there were 11 people in the Suburban, including nine children, state police said. The children range in age from 3 to 14.

Nine children and two adults were hospitalized, according to Fire Media Affairs. Two people were initially hospitalized in critical condition, four in serious condition and five with minor injuries. State police said later Friday the injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.

The driver of the Suburban, Tonica S. Conwell of Chicago, who is the mother of several of the children, was charged with DUI and nine counts of child endangerment, according to state police. Conwell also received seven child-restraint citations.

State police are still investigating.

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