Daughter wins $2 million in suit over fatal chase

COOK COUNTY — The daughter of a woman killed by a speeding motorist who was being pursued by police was awarded $2 million by a Cook County jury Friday in a lawsuit against the motorist and Chicago.

Dalia Santillana, 51, was fatally injured July 18, 2000, when her car was hit by a car driven by Jesus Gomez, then of the 2400 block of South Spaulding Avenue. A jury agreed with her daughter, Elizabeth Santillana, who sued Gomez and the city, claiming that under police rules, officers should have abandoned their chase after Gomez hit a vehicle minutes before the fatal crash.

Gomez, now 29, is serving an 8-year prison sentence for reckless homicide at Menard Correctional Center. He had tested positive for cocaine, marijuana and PCP after the crash.

“It certainly doesn’t explain why the police would violate their own policy,” said Timothy Cavanagh, Elizabeth Santillana’s attorney.

City attorneys may appeal, said Jennifer Hoyle, a spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department. There are more articles like this one on our website.

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