Oak Lawn car wreck claims lives of two nuns

  • Written by Bob Rakow

Two Little Company of Mary sisters were killed Sunday afternoon at 95th Street and Cicero Avenue in Oak Lawn as part of an 11-car crash described by officials as “a horrific scene.”

Sister Jean Stickney, 86, and Sister Kab Kyoung Kim, 48, were killed when the car they were driving was struck by a pick-up truck driven by Edward L. Carthans, 81, of Chicago.

Carthans also was killed in the crash, in which the pickup he was driving veered in to the opposite of lanes of 95th Street, ran a red light and slammed into cars waiting for the light to change, police said.

Twenty-three people were treated at the scene and 11 were taken to area hospital, officials said.

The accident remains under investigation and could take weeks to reconstruct, police said.

“I can’t get into specifics. It is an ongoing investigation,” said Oak Lawn Police Division Chief Randy Palmer at a press conference Tuesday morning at village hall.

Witnesses told police they initially saw Carthans slumped over the wheel of his pickup truck at 95th Street and Western Avenue and asked if he needed assistance.

Carthans declined help and drove away, police said. Moments later, he was involved in a four-car accident at 95th Street and Keeler Avenue near Target. None of the drivers in the crash were seriously injured, police said.

Carthans then drove at a high rate of speed to 95th Street and Cicero Avenue, crossed into the eastbound lanes, ran the red light and struck cars stopped at a traffic light on eastbound 95th Street.

Officials said it was too early to determine if alcohol was involved in the accident or if Carthans had health concerns that caused him to drive erratically.

Sister Stickney served as the vocation director for the Sisters of the Little Company of Mary and was a member of Little Company of Mary’s board of directors.