Man charged in Bishop Ford death

A man involved in the death of a 27-year-old woman who plummeted from an SUV that kept traveling down the Bishop Ford Freeway this week has been charged, Illinois State Police said Thursday.

Michael Johnson, 28, of Edwardsville, Ill., was charged with aggravated driving under the influence involving death, aggravated fleeing and eluding and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

"Throughout the investigation, law enforcement agents were able to connect the victim and the offender at various locations, prior to the incident," the Illinois State Police said in a statement.

Police are still piecing together whether Jennifer Mitchell, a Chicago resident, jumped or was pushed out of her SUV, which Johnson had been driving at the time. She was struck by a car and a semi after she fell near 154th Street in Dolton about 1 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

The SUV eluded police for miles before it crashed at an exit ramp near 127th Street.

"We're in mourning right now," the Rev. Michael Mitchell, Jennifer Mitchell's father, said when reached by phone. Mitchell, who is the pastor at Greater Deliverance Church of God in Christ, declined to comment further.

Johnson has a criminal history including seven arrests and two convictions, according to court records. The arrests include four charges of assault, and one each of larceny, criminal damage to property and obstructing justice. The two convictions are for domestic battery.

Johnson will appear in bond court Friday at the Cook County Courthouse in Markham.

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