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Two killed, four hurt in Park Ridge crash
By Steve Zalusky | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 10/11/2009 3:20 PM | Updated: 10/11/2009 9:44 PM

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Two people died Sunday and four others were hurt in a car crash at Oakton Street and Riverside Drive in Park Ridge, police said.

The victims, Younan Chalabi, 25, of Des Plaines, and Christine Merza, 37, of Morton Grove, were passengers in the same car, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Both were pronounced dead at a hospital.

Four others suffered nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

In a news release issued Sunday, police reported that officers responded at 2:10 a.m. to the report of a serious motor vehicle crash.

Upon arrival, officers found two cars. One car with only the driver inside was near the intersection, while the other, with five people inside, was 75 feet northeast of the intersection, off the road in a wooded area.

Officers worked with the Park Ridge Fire Department to secure the scene and provide aid, according to the news release.

All six people involved in the crash were transported to area hospitals by the Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Niles and North Maine Fire Departments.

According to Des Plaines fire officials, two of the hospitals were Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge and St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.

The Park Ridge Police Department Major Crash Unit is investigating, gathering witness statements and other evidence from the scene.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said autopsies will be conducted on Monday.