A retail theft suspect was impaled by a fence post and is in critical condition after their reckless fleeing vehicle caused a multiple-vehicle crash in Mettawa Monday afternoon.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Fire Protection District responded around 3:45 p.m. Monday to Route 60 and St. Mary’s Road in Mettawa for a report of a crash with injuries.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said sheriff’s deputies arrived and found three vehicles involved in the crash.
A preliminary investigation shows a 2018 Kia Optima was traveling eastbound on Route 60.
The occupants of the Kia, who crash investigators are still working to identify, had just been involved in a retail theft in Vernon Hills, Covelli said.
Following the theft, the Kia fled recklessly eastbound on Route 60 at a high rate of speed.
The Kia approached St. Mary’s Road and ran the red light, striking a southbound 2012 GMC Sierra, Covelli said.
The Kia left the roadway on the southeast corner of the intersection and drove into a wooden fence.
After the Kia struck the GMC, the GMC struck a 2016 Toyota 4-Runner, which was facing northbound to turn left onto westbound Route 60.
A front-seat passenger in the Kia was impaled by a wooden fence post, Covelli said.
Vernon Hills police officers who arrived on the scene along with sheriff’s deputies performed first aid and used an automated external defibrillator on the front-seat passenger of the Kia, who was unresponsive.
Paramedics transported the passenger to Advocate Condell Medical Center with critical, life-threatening injuries, Covelli said.
The driver of the Kia was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with non-life-threatening injuries.
A backseat passenger in the Kia was transported to Lake Forest Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the GMC, a 34-year-old Round Lake Beach man, was transported to Lake Forest Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the Toyota, a 60-year-old man from Watervliet, Michigan, and his passenger, a 23-year-old Riverwoods man, were uninjured.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit.
The retail theft remains under investigation by Vernon Hills Police Department.