2 Nuns Die in 'Movielike' Crash
Police chief: It was like 'a bomb ... went off somewhere'
By Shelley Hazen,  Newser User
Posted Oct 7, 2014 11:16 AM CDT

(Newser) – Two Chicago-area nuns were killed in a "violent and bizarre" 11-vehicle pileup a local fire chief compared to a scene from a movie, the Chicago Tribune reports. On Sunday in Oak Lawn, Sister Sharon Ann Walsh was driving fellow nuns Jean Stickney, 86, and Kab Kyoung Kim, 48, back from a shopping trip when Edward Carthans, 81, drove through an intersection and struck their vehicle head-on. Stickney and Kim were killed on impact, CBS reports. Just before the accident, a witness found Carthans slumped over the wheel of his truck; he then reportedly sped off, hit three vehicles, then smashed into more cars stopped at a red light, causing the pileup. In the accident's wake, victims were found "in and around and under cars," the fire chief says, comparing the scene to the "stage of a movie set." Carthans was also killed; 23 others were injured.

Stickney and Kim lived in a private home with other nuns in the Little Company of Mary order and served at the order's hospital; the Tribune reports Stickney served on the board of directors there and Kim counseled grieving children. "They were compassionate women who devoted their lives to caring for others," says the hospital's CEO. As for Carthans, the father of seven had a clean driving record, and friends and neighbors tell the Southtown Star he was a safe driver who "wouldn't hurt a fly." Authorities are now investigating whether Carthans had a medical condition or if alcohol was involved, though the witness claims not to have detected any when he stopped to try and help Carthans, adds the Tribune. (In another horrific accident recently, a man survived a crash only to be hit and killed when his wife came to help.)