May 19, 2022

9-year-old Took Her Sister and Parent’s Car, Crashed into a Semi-Truck; United Airlines to Offer Supersonic Flights; Kim Breaks Down Over Marital Struggles; Expressway Shootings Spiked; Girl Chased and Shot by Gang Members

Utah 9-year-old Took Her Sister and Parent’s Car, Headed for California Beach, Crashed into a Semi-Truck

West Valley City Police officers were in for a surprise when they responded to an early morning traffic accident in Utah on Wednesday between a car and a semi-truck. The driver of the car and passenger were young children.

Body camera video captured the police officers’ surprise upon seeing a 9-year-old was behind the wheel of the car that crashed into the semi-truck. 

“It’s crazy! She’s driving? Unreal,” one officer can be heard saying to another officer who had been talking to the young children.

The sisters, 9 and 4-year-olds, told the police they are headed to California to take a beach vacation because they wanted to swim in the ocean.

West Jordan is about a 700-mile drive to a California beach.

“The young girl and her 4-year-old sister apparently snagged the keys to the family car while their parents were sleeping,” said West Valley City Police Department in a statement.

“The girls drove about 10 miles from their home in West Jordan and managed to get on a highway and a freeway approaching West Valley City. Before exiting the freeway, the car hopped a median and slammed head-on into a semi-truck,” the Department added.

West Valley City police released a video clip from an officer’s body-worn camera taken from the crash scene. It detailed the crushed front end of the red sedan, wedged against a semi-truck, which appeared to have been pulling two trailers.

Neither of the girls or the driver of the truck was injured in the collision. 

“We suspect in large part because those little girls at least remembered to wear their seatbelts,” said the West Valley City Police Department.

The girls’ parents were asleep when the two took the keys early Wednesday morning and drove about 10 miles from their home. The parents were shocked when the police informed them about the crash.

Detective List of West Valley City Police said parents were “horrified and shocked, they didn’t know that their kids were gone.” 

“It doesn’t look like this is a neglect issue. It looks like this is something that could have happened to anybody. You’ve got some curious kids who were excited about swimming with dolphins in California and figured out how to drive the car,” List added.  

United Airlines Plans to Offer Supersonic Flights in 2029

United Airlines has announced its plan to offer commercial supersonic flights in 2029. The airline company entered into a deal with Boom Supersonic to buy 15 supersonic jets to carry passengers on ultra-fast commercial planes by 2029.

Boom Supersonic is a privately held upstart aircraft maker based in Denver. Its supersonic plane that the United wants to purchase is called the “Overture.” The build is expected to be completed in 2025, and the test flights to start by 2026. In 2029, it is anticipated to be fully operational and able to service passengers. United has agreed to acquire 15 of the Overture jets, with the option to purchase 35 more.

The supersonic plane will be flying at Mach 1.7, or twice as fast as today’s commercial jets. It will be able to complete a journey from United’s hub in Newark, New Jersey, to London in just three-and-a-half hours. It can cut the flight hours of the Newark to Frankfurt trip to four hours and San Francisco to Tokyo to just six hours.

Boom is also working on a goal for Overture to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). If the goal is achieved, Overture will be the first aircraft to begin with net-zero carbon flights.

“United continues on its trajectory to build a more innovative, sustainable airline, and today’s advancements in technology are making it more viable for that to include supersonic planes,” said United CEO Scott Kirby.

However, air travel experts expressed doubts that there will ever be a way for commercial supersonic flights to be economically viable for airline companies.

“You need to find enough full-fare premium passengers to justify the aircraft. Good luck with that,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group.

“This is the best form of free advertising,” said Aboulafia. “It likely doesn’t cost anything. It gets them free publicity as a forward-looking airline with, bizarrely, a concern about the environment.”

After the economic failure of the Concorde, the airlines and aircraft makers have shifted their focus on the efficiency of flying, not speed.

Kim Kardashian Breaks Down Over Marital Struggles with Kanye West

The 40-year-old reality star Kim Kardashian has finally addressed her marital strife with Kanye West, 43, in the Thursday night episode of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” She had not publicly spoken about her struggles in her marriage in the past, but it has been widely reported since the announcement of her divorce.

“Kim has been struggling privately behind the camera about her relationship, and it’s tough because Kim is clearly redirecting so much of her frustration and sadness and anger,” Kim’s sister Khloé Kardashian said in a confessional. “Sometimes you just take things out on something that has nothing to do with what you’re going through.”

Kim’s younger sister, Khloé Kardashian, reached out directly to her while on a family vacation in a Lake Tahoe cabin.

“How are you and Kanye doing?” she asked.

“There’s no fighting,” Kim replied. “Like, now it’s all calm, so I just roll with it, you know?”

Khloé then revealed in a confessional that her sister and Kanye got in a huge fight before the trip.

“I think he deserves someone that can and go follow him all over the place and move to Wyoming,” Kim said in a flashback clip. “I can’t do that.”

“He should have a wife that supports his every move and travels and does everything, and I can’t. I feel like a f—— failure that it’s a third marriage. Yeah, I feel like a f—— loser.” She continued.

Kim lamented as she referenced her previous marriages to Damon Thomas and Kris Humphries.

“But I can’t even think about that; I want to be happy,” she said in the flashback sequence.

Khloé then addressed the failure of her sister’s marriage in a confessional.

“Kim is one of the most incredible human beings literally ever, and she tries to protect their union at all costs, but it’s hard when you carry that responsibility on your shoulders, and I just want her to take care of herself, too,” she said.

Kim married Kanye in 2014, and they have four children: North, 7, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2.

Chicago Expressway Shootings Spiked in 2021

Illinois State Police were investigating yet another reported shooting on the Dan Ryan Expressway on Thursday afternoon. In the latest reported shooting, a truck driver claims he was shot at in the middle of the day while driving on the inbound local lanes at 59th Street. This incident is the second shooting on the Dan Ryan in less than 24 hours.

The other shooting happened on Wednesday evening at around 7:40 p.m. A man driving a red Jaguar was cruising along the inbound Dan Ryan express lanes at 33rd Street when he was hit with gunfire and seriously wounded. The passenger, a 27-year-old man, was not hit but was also injured after the car crashed into a concrete pillar. The driver and the passenger were taken to a local hospital, according to the State Police. 

The ramp from 35th Street to I-94 northbound was closed as State Police investigated. Police had shut down the northbound express lanes at 47th Street, where traffic was diverted into the local roads. The northbound lanes of the highway closed more than three hours Wednesday night, reopening just before midnight.

According to data from Illinois State Police, there has been a spike in the Chicago expressway shootings this year. Through June 3, 2020, there had been an increase of more than 130% so far this year.

In all of 2020, there were 128 expressway shootings, according to ISP statistics. At the city’s current pace, Chicago would see 215 expressway shootings in 2021.

A total of 41 out of the 90 shootings this year resulted in injuries. Eight people died; 59 in total were shot.

The breakdown of the shooting incidents by expressway:

I-90/94 (Dan Ryan): 26
I-57: 13
I-290 (Eisenhower): 20
I-94 (Bishop Ford): 14
I-55 (Stevenson): 8
I-90/94 (Kennedy): 4
I-80: 3
I-94 (Edens): 1

According to Illinois State Police, only three shootings have tracked down the shooters and have filed charges.

Chicago Girl, 14, Chased and Shot in the Head by Gang Members

A 14-year-old Chicago girl was out walking her dog with her boyfriend when she was asked what gang she belonged to before three gunmen chased her and shot her in the head. The incident happened in the 1700 block of West 48th Street at about 6:09 p.m. in the neighborhood of Back of the Yards.

Police said a surveillance video shows the 14-year-old walking and had just left a corner store when two unknown suspects walked up to them. The suspects asked about her gang affiliation, and when she replied she is not a member of any gang, they chased her and opened fire. She was hit in the head and immediately taken to the Comer Children’s Hospital, where she remains in critical condition after surgery.

The girl was not part of a gang, but her mother was. The suspects immediately left the scene.

According to the Chicago Police Department, the unknown assailants are believed to be ages 15 or younger and part of a new gang recruiting from the surrounding neighborhood. However, the investigation is still ongoing, and no arrests have been made.

“This elevation of gang life has to come to an end. It’s not cute. It only comes to one outcome, what we saw last night,” said Alderman Raymond Lopez. He blamed the glorification of gang culture for violence in his ward.

Community activist Andrew Holmes urged the neighbors who may have surveillance cameras in their homes, which may have captured the incident, to give the footage to the Chicago Police Department.

The shootings up 36% this year compared to 2020. Holmes put partial blame on the pre-trial judges who set bonds, saying the lack of consequences for gun offenders results in more violence.

“These streets belong to the children, the parks belong to the children,” Holmes said Wednesday outside Comer Children’s Hospital. “Give our city back to our youth.”

A prayer vigil was held Thursday night for the victim.

“There’s no reason why in our community it’s normal for young people to continuously be lost in the streets,” said activist Berto Aguayo. “The point is her life matters.”