Chicago finance committee approves $15 million settlement with estate of Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez, killed in Lakeview crash

CHICAGO (WLS) — Chicago’s finance committee has approved a $15 million settlement with the estate of a woman killed in a crash with a CPD police cruiser during a 2020 police chase.

A Chicago police cruiser hit Guadalupe Francisco-Martinez’s vehicle during a pursuit on the night of June 3, 2020 in Lakeview. The 37-year-old died from her injuries and left behind six children. The youngest was only six years old at the time.

On Monday, the city’s finance committee agreed to a $15 million settlement, which will then go to the full city council for final approval.

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“She had to be pulled from her car by the Chicago Fire Department and taken to hospital and emergency surgery where she died,” Chicago City Attorney Mary Ruether said. “There will be enormous sympathy for the family of Ms. Franco-Martinez, who endured such a tragic event. And if a jury were to find out the damages, it could be well in excess of the $15 million settlement amount.

Marcel Olivier was accused with murder in the death of Francisco-Martinez, as he led police in the cross-town pursuit that led to the accident, according to CPD.

Oliver, who lived in Fernwood, was driving a dark-colored Jeep around 8:15 p.m. near 115th Street and Cottage Grove Avenue when officers noticed she might be wanted for multiple crimes in the nearby suburb, said the police. They tried to brake the Jeep in the 9400 block of South Union Avenue, but it took off and led police into a chase in Irving Park on the northwest side. Oliver’s car is said to have reached speeds over 100 mph.

He crashed the Jeep near Irving Park Road and Keystone Avenue and ran to a nearby gas station, where he stole an idling 2016 Nissan SUV at 9:54 p.m., police said. He left the gas station and took off east on Irving Park Road with police in pursuit.

As they chased the Nissan with their sirens on, a marked police car slammed into a northbound Ford Explorer on Ashland Avenue, police said. The driver, Francisco-Martinez, was taken to Masonic Medical Center in Illinois, where she died.

Her family said she was returning home after her first day at a new job.

“It was a terrible and heartbreaking story,” Ald said. Nicholas Sposato, 38th district. “It’s just a terrible thing.”

“I’m sad to see this happen and to see so many young children left behind,” Ald said. Jason Ervin, 28th district.

Francisco-Martinez’s daughter, Jaritzi Escobar, said she called her mother for hours that night.

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“I thought someone stole his phone with everything going on,” she said. “My siblings were waiting for her, staring out the window for 30 minutes straight. She never came home. This lady was my best friend.”

The patrol car spun and rammed a Hummer stopped at a red light, police said. The driver of the Hummer, a 62-year-old man, and two passengers, a 29- and 44-year-old woman, were all transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition.

Two police officers were also injured in the crash and were in fair condition, police said.

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Oliver drove the stolen Nissan back to the south side before crashing into a pole in Bridgeport, police said. He attempted to flee the scene but was taken into custody at 10:13 p.m. in the 800 block of West Pershing Road. He was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in serious condition.

Illinois State Police said the Jeep was wanted for at least one homicide.

Detectives from Area Three and the CPD Major Accident Unit were investigating.

Sun-Times Media contributed to this report.

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