By ROB LAMBERTI AND TOM GODFREY, SUN MEDIA
A woman is fighting for her life and three others are in serious condition after a wild three-car crash in the downtown core last night.
Streetcar and other traffic was shut down in the University Ave. and Queen St. W. area for hours as Toronto Police traffic officers probed the pileup that occurred shortly after 8 p.m.
Witnesses said a Chevy Trailblazer, reported stolen in Niagara Falls, slammed into the southwest corner of the busy intersection.
When one suspect opened a door, cash flew out and passersby grabbed the money and held it for police, one witness said.
Traffic Sgt. Reg Eldridge said four people were injured including a woman pinned by the SUV who was listed in critical condition.
A witness, Ron, who only wanted his first name used, said two officers on bikes tried to stop the SUV after it made an illegal turn a few blocks to the east.
The SUV driver then sped off and entered the intersection against a red light, witnesses said.
Ron said the east-west lights had just turned red while traffic on University's eight lanes began going through on green.
"I was sitting in my car," said Ron. "He scared ... me. I jumped two feet in the air.
"He had to be doing a buck forty (140 km/h).
"He almost hit me," Ron said. "So I pulled into the inside lane and he went around me.
"He came through here (the intersection) and then I saw them smash, bang, boom. Then they got out and fled."
Toronto resident Justice Francis was handing out flyers on Queen when he heard a loud crash and saw a telephone pole falling.
Francis looked around to see someone chasing men who took off from a vehicle involved in the crash.
He ran to one of cars and tried to pull out a bleeding woman.
"The lady was bleeding pretty bad and we tried to pull her out," Francis said. "We tried but couldn't open the door."
The woman was moaning from pain and blood was pouring from her face.
"We tried hard to pull that door open," Francis said. "I hope she is all right."
Three suspects who bolted from the Trailblazer were later rounded up by police. Their identities haven't been released.
The SIU has been called to investigate because bicycle cops first tried to stop the SUV.