Man charged with DUI and aggravated speeding after crashing into new Arlington Hts police station

From the Chicago Tribune:

An Arlington Heights man who, police said, was speeding at 104 mph when he crashed recently into the village’s new police station has been charged.

Sam O. Kerlin, 44, of the 0-99 block of South Vail Avenue, was charged Nov. 16 with driving under the influence of drugs, speeding 35 mph or more over the speed limit, reckless driving and improper lane use, Arlington Heights police said in a statement.

The charges were filed after Kerlin was released from Northwest Community Hospital following treatment for injuries that he sustained during the one-vehicle crash on Nov. 11. The man told investigators last week while at the hospital that he had used cocaine and taken prescription drugs, including anti-depressants, shortly before the crash, which was captured on security cameras at the new police station, police said.

In the video, Kerlin can be seen driving a 2015 Volkswagen car at a high rate of speed west on Sigwalt Street around 5:30 p.m.

His car then veers off the road and flips over before crashing into the east side of the entrance of the new, $28 million police headquarters, which the police department was planning to move into later this month.

The construction project started during summer 2017 and was meant to replace the old station, which was originally built in 1979, with a modernized headquarters totaling 70,000 square feet.

Officials also were planning to host a grand opening event in late November for the new police station, which was built on the site of the old station at 200 E. Sigwalt St., but those plans since have been postponed to a later date, police have said.

Since the crash, an engineer also has assessed the building and determined that the damage was non-structural in nature, police said. Repair work is ongoing.

Chicago Traffic Deaths up in 2017; is it because of distracted driving or just a blip?

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The Chicago Tribune has a front page story today by Mary Wisniewski about the rise in Chicago traffic deaths in 2017, 133 compared to 113 in 2016, an 18 per cent increase.

The article blames distracted driving, distracted pedestrians, low gas prices, a better economy, higher speeds and alcohol use.

But …

The story also notes that the average death toll from 2011 to 2015 was 126.2.  So why is Ms. Wisniewski comparing 2017 to one unusually low year instead of comparing it to the entire decade, which would provide a more useful comparison?  Indeed, when you combine the 2016 and 2017 death tolls and divide them by 2, you get an average of 123 — still lower than the 2011-15 average.  Maybe 2016 was just an outlier.

Comparing 2011-2015 to 2016-17, the numbers are virtually identical, within the margin of error.  But that wouldn’t be front-page worthy.

My concern is that someone in the state legislature will see the front-page headline and assume that there is a crisis when there isn’t a crisis.  This is how bad laws get enacted.

Man arrested in fatal DUI crash that killed his brother

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From the Chicago Sun-Times:

A Cook County judge called the case of Johnathan Rios ‘profoundly tragic’ at his initial court appearance Thursday at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

Rios, 28, is accused of being drunk when he crashed early Tuesday on Interstate 55, causing his brother to be thrown from the SUV and killed.

Shortly after midnight, Rios was driving a 2004 Toyota Highlander north near Cicero Avenue when he tried to pass other vehicles waiting to exit by veering across several lanes of traffic, Cook County prosecutors and Illinois State Police said.

The Toyota slammed into a guard rail on the exit ramp, throwing 22-year-old Christian D. Barrajas from the vehicle, authorities said. Barrajas, of the Clearing neighborhood, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prosecutors said Rios was driving five other passengers in addition to Barrajas, who was riding in the rear hatchback of the vehicle and was not in a seat. State police said no one in the Toyota was wearing a seat belt during the crash.

Two other passengers, a 20-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man were taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, state police said. Prosecutors said the man suffered a broken shoulder and will likely require a skin graft.

Rios appeared in court Thursday on felony charges of aggravated driving under the influence causing death and aggravated driving under the influence causing bodily harm.

He walked slowly into the courtroom and had to sit in a chair during his hearing before Judge Mary Marubio. His face showed bruising from the crash and he cried softly at times.

Rios’ blood alcohol content was 0.148 after the crash, prosecutors said. Rios told state police investigators he smoked marijuana, drank shots of Crown Royal and consumed six beers the night before.

Rios’ license was suspended at the time of the crash due to a 2010 DUI conviction, for which he received court supervision, prosecutors said.

Read the entire story here at:  https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/man-charged-with-driving-drunk-in-profoundly-tragic-crash-that-killed-brother/

Suspect in fatal crash driving 128 mph, 3X legal limit

From the Chicago Tribune:

Ciro Reyes Ramirez and his son had only been parked for a moment near the Tinley Park bar they were headed to clean early Tuesday morning, when a car allegedly speeding along Oak Park Avenue plowed into them from behind, he said.

Reyes Ramirez’s 20-year-old son Alberto Reyes, his youngest, was killed in the crash and he was injured. The driver of the other car, Joseph Vorberg, of Oak Forest, was drivingat about 130 mph, with a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, when he crashed into their parked car, prosecutors said.

Vorberg fled the scene on foot after the crash, prosecutors said Thursday at the Cook County courthouse in Bridgeview. Police found him 30 minutes later, hiding behind a semitrailer that was parked near a Tinley Park bar, prosecutors said.

Vorberg, 37, of the 15300 block of Arroyo Drive, is facing charges including reckless homicide and aggravated DUI stemming from the crash. A Cook County judge set Vorberg’s bail on Thursday at $1 million.

Judge Peter Felice said Vorberg was a “danger to himself … and to the community,” based on the allegations presented in court.

Data pulled from Vorberg’s Cadillac ATS sedan indicated he was traveling 128 mph just seconds before he smashed into the parked car, prosecutors said.

Alberto Reyes was declared dead at the scene, prosecutors said. His father was treated at a local hospital for injuries that were not life threatening and released.

Vorberg had been drinking at bars in Tinley Park and Harvey before the crash, prosecutors said. He had been treated at a local hospital for his injuries.

A test conducted on Vorberg indicated that his blood-alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit, prosecutors said…

A GoFundMe page has been set up under Alberto Reyes’ nickname, Beto.

Vorberg is also charged with DUI, failing to give aid/information at an accident, improper lane usage and failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident. Vorberg returns to court Nov. 2.

LA Cop arrested in DUI crash that killed 3 just hours after he posted anti-DUI video

From Raw Story:

A Los Angeles police officer posted a “don’t drink and drive” Instagram video hours before he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence over a fatal crash that killed three people.

Edgar Verduzco, 26, was speeding on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway in Whittier, southern California, when he struck the back of two cars, one of which was carrying three members of a family, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

The car carrying the family burst into flames and killed the three people inside. The victims have since been identified as Mario and Maribel Davila, a married couple, and their 19-year-old son Oscar Davila, according to a GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral costs.

Hours before the crash, a video was posted to an Instagram account belonging to Verduzco. The 10-second video featured a cartoon avatar honking the horn of a car, which is captioned #dontdrinkanddrive. The video appears to be shot in a bar; a glass of beer is seen in the background, KTLA 5 reported.

The Instagram account has not been confirmed as belonging to Verduzco, but other photos and videos posted on the account suggest it is his: one post in July has Verduzco’s name badge on display, KTLA 5 reported.

Verduzco was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and vehicular manslaughter and is being held on $100,000 bail, the The Washington Post reported. He suffered a broken nose in the incident.

Read the entire story here:  https://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/la-cop-posted-anti-drink-driving-video-before-crash/

Actress who plays Judge “Maximum Moxley” arrested for DUI

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Soap opera star Jensen Buchanan, who plays Judge Moxley, i.e., “Maximum Moxley on The Young and the Restless, was arrested for DUI after driving into oncoming traffic and causing a collision with major injuries to another person.

She is certainly hoping that she does not face a judge with a similar nickname.

From Entertainment Tonight:

Soap opera star Jensen Buchanan was arrested for driving under the influence after causing a car crash in Buellton, California, on Wednesday morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

According to the collision report, the 53-year-old actress, best known for her roles in One Life to Live and Another World, also caused major injuries to another driver in the wrong-way crash.

“The immediate cause is under investigation — our understanding is she allowed [her] vehicle to cross the double yellow lines,” John Ortega, public information officer for the Buellton office of the CHP told ET. “There were two parties involved — a driver in each vehicle.”

According to the police report obtained by ET, at approximately 6:19 a.m., Buchanan’s vehicle, a black Mercedes S550, drifted across the solid double yellow lines of the road as she was driving eastbound on State Route 154. The documents claim that she drove directly into the path of a driver of a white Ford C-Max, causing a head-on traffic collision.

Police say Buchanan and the other driver, Bradley Asolas, a 56-year-old man from Camarillo, California, were transported to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Buchanan was treated for minor injuries and arrested for DUI. Asolas was treated for major injuries.

“It is confirmed Jensen Buchanan as the driver of a black Mercedes,” Ortega also told ET. “Jensen Buchanan was arrested for DUI — she had minor injuries and went to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. As far as law enforcement is aware, she is still there. The other party had major injuries and was also taken to Cottage Hospital — there is no update on his condition.”

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department confirmed to ET that Buchanan was booked charges of driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs with injury or death and driving under the influence of .08 alcohol causing bodily injury, She is being held on $100,000 bail.

Man interviewed on TV confesses to fatal DUI crash: “I drove because he was drunker”

confess24n-2-web

From the NY Daily News:

A Los Angeles man confessed to a fatal drunk driving wreck as TV cameras rolled, telling the unsuspecting reporter he didn’t want to drive, but was forced to because his drinking buddy was more intoxicated.

“We were drinking. Record it,” the suspect, identified only as Jose, said as hewalked up to a FOX 11 news crew at the scene of the crash Monday.

“He was drunker!” Jose blurted out.

The accident early Monday killed Jose’s cousin Juan, who was riding in the passenger seat, officials said. Jose fled from the scene before he realized Juan was dead, and returned while the local news team was setting up their cameras.

Jose told the reporter that after a night on the town, Juan started to drive the pair home but stopped in the “middle of the freeway” and demanded Jose take the wheel.

“He was drunk already, and I told him I couldn’t drive, so he made me drive,” Jose told the reporter as cameras rolled. “And he made me drive, and I told him I couldn’t drive.”

Jose said after he started driving, he lost control of the car and slammed into a light pole. He left to go get help, he said, and found first-responders and the news team on the scene when he returned.

As he confessed the saga to the reporter, Jose — unaware the crash killed his cousin — asked how Juan was doing.

Police delivered the heartbreaking news, then gave Jose a field sobriety test and arrested him.

Click her to see the full story and video:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/watch-man-confesses-fatal-dui-wreck-tv-interview-article-1.2541065

Tip of the hat to Springfield attorney Theodore Harvatin for posting this on social media, where I first saw this.