Regina Varela was only 17 years old when she was struck by a stolen van going 55 miles per hour through a busy Chicago intersection. The van driver was trying to evade Chicago police officers, who pursued the van on a dangerous and unauthorized high-speed chase through the Avondale neighborhood.
Now, the City of Chicago will pay $3 million to Varela, who suffered permanent brain damage, a fractured collarbone, and damage to her kidneys and liver in the crash. Chicago police rules require officers to get permission from their supervisors before starting a vehicle chase and to stop the chase if the car they are following starts ignoring traffic signals.
Here, the officers did not receive permission to chase the van. Varela was injured when the van ran a red light at the intersection of Addison and Kedzie. The Chicago Sun Times has more information on Varela’s case.