Update: man charged with Aggravated DUI, Joliet Police Officer charged with misdemeanor DUI in fatal crash that cost life of Berwyn Officer

Third update:  it appears that there was a chain reaction involving multiple vehicles.  According to the Sun-Times:

A man faces DUI charges in a crash Sunday on Interstate 55 that ultimately led to another collision, resulting in the death of a Berwyn police officer.

Rodrigo Marin, 42, is charged with two counts of aggravated DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, failure to render aid, driving without valid insurance and driving on a revoked license, according to Illinois State Police. He was also cited for failure to reduce speed and improper lane usage.

Marin was driving a 2006 Nissan Titan about 6 a.m. on I-55 when he lost control and crossed into another lane, striking the left side of a 2008 Hino Box truck driven by a 44-year-old man, state police said.

Both vehicles came to a stop in the right two lanes, and Marin allegedly ran off from the crash, state police said.

While the vehicles were blocking the lanes, a Dodge Durango slammed into the box truck, state police said.

Earlier stories focused on the driver of the vehicle in which the Berwyn officer was a passenger.  That driver is a Joliet police officer, who was charged with misdemeanor DUI.

From the Chicago Tribune:

A Joliet police officer faces drunken driving charges after a Berwyn police officer who was a passenger in her car died in a crash Sunday morning on Interstate 55 in Plainfield Township, officials said.

Charles “Chuck” Schauer, 33, who died as a result of the crash around 6 a.m., had been a 10-year veteran of the Berwyn Police Department, according to a statement from the agency. Berwyn Mayor Robert Lovero announced Schauer’s death in a post on social media, referring to his death as a “tragic traffic accident.”

“Please keep Officer Schauer’s family and friends, as well as all Berwyn police officers in your thoughts and prayers during this time of grief,” he wrote.

Erin Zilka, 35, of Plainfield, faces a charge of driving under the influence, according to Illinois State police. Joliet police released a statement Monday saying that Zilka, “a 12-year veteran, was involved in an off-duty vehicle crash on I-55 near Route 30 where her passenger was tragically killed.”

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Zilka’s attorney, Jeff Tomczak, said her blood-alcohol test came up under the legal limit, but declined to specify the number. He said Zilka was friends with Schauer, and was in “a really bad way.”

“She’s absolutely devastated to a degree I can’t express verbally,” Tomczak said.

He said Zilka “came upon” an earlier accident in a “darkened” part of the road before crashing.

Zilka has been an officer with Joliet police for 6 years, and had served in Shorewood for another 6 years, Tomczak said. He said she is due in court March 18.

Zilka, of Plainfield, was also cited for driving too fast for conditions, state police said.

Off-Duty Chicago Police Officer involved in fatal DUI Crash

From CBS-Chicago:

CHICAGO (CBS) — An off-duty police officer has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol after his car crashed into a restaurant, killing one person in Gresham.

Marquita Reed, a nurse and mother of two, died after she was pinned underneath the car that crashed into Tony’s Philly Steak, in the 1700 block of west 87th Street…

Reed, 34, was sitting inside Tony’s Philly Steak restaurant when she was pinned underneath the car. She was pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Hospital from her injuries.

Another woman inside the restaurant suffered a leg injury, and the driver suffered a neck injury.

Chicago police said the off-duty officer is 24 years old and had been on the force for three years. The off-duty officer told police he was driving east on 87th Street when another car heading west turned in front of him, and he swerved to avoid the vehicle. The off-duty officer made a sharp turn, jumped the curb, and hit the building.

“It happened so fast that I don’t even think he had time to hit the brakes,” said Jerrell Desmond, who witnessed the crash.

Police said the officer had a blood alcohol level of .083, just over the legal limit.

Read the entire story here:  https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/06/09/off-duty-officer-charged-with-dui/

One Cook County Corrections officer dead, another charged in fatal DUI crash

From the Patch:

WOODRIDGE, IL — A Cook County correctional officer is facing DUI charges after a Monday afternoon crash that killed 27-year-old fellow officer Zachary Perry. At around 4 p.m., Woodridge police, along with Romeoville and Bolingbrook police, responded to a crash involving a box truck and two passenger vehicles near Joliet and Davey roads.

Police said Perry, of Addison, was pronounced dead at the scene, Another driver, 30-year-old Pablo Perez of Berwyn, was taken to an area hospital and later charged with DUI.

Both Perry and Perez worked as corrections officers, according to WGN. Perez was de-deputized following the crash Monday pending an investigation, officials told the outlet.

Illinois State Police, Bolingbrook and Romeoville police, and the Felony Investigative Assistance Team (FIAT) are investigating the crash.

Perez is charged with one count of misdemeanor DUI and one count of felony aggravated DUI, according to Will County jail records.

 

Widow and mother of three gets 7 years for DUI crash that killed husband

From the Peoria Pantagraph:

An East Peoria woman was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday for aggravated driving under the influence related to a single-vehicle crash that killed her husband.

Juanita Webster, 38, sobbed loudly after Judge William Yoder imposed the sentence.

Webster was behind the wheel on June 16, 2017, when she lost control of the vehicle in which Andre Webster was a passenger. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Interstate 55 north of Bloomington.

In his decision to impose a prison sentence, Yoder cited Webster’s criminal history that included convictions for drunken driving in 2012 and domestic battery of her husband in 2016.

Yoder said he found no extraordinary circumstances involved in the crash that would allow him to consider probation over prison as required by state law.

Defense lawyer Matthew Koetters argued that the testimony from Webster’s relatives, including her three children, illustrated the hardship they have suffered since their mother’s incarceration. The defendant’s two sons, ages 18 and 13, and daughter, now 12, said they needed their mother at home.

The children, who exchanged emotional goodbyes with their mother after the hearing, are living with a disabled grandfather and a family friend near Chicago.

In her statement to the judge, Webster’s words were nearly drowned out by her sobs.

“I’m suffering every day. I lost my husband I’m still in love with. … I don’t have anyone to take care of my kids, judge,” said Webster.

Read the entire story here:  https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/driver-sentenced-to-years-in-dui-crash-that-killed-her/article_28557471-8087-5605-8260-7edc5a1331e4.html

Little Women reality show star sentenced to 16 years for DUI crash

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Melissa Hancock, the former television reality star of Little Women Atlanta, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the drunk driving crash that took the life of Coast Guardsman Petty Officer Second Class Daniel Dill.

According to reports, Hancock drove into oncoming traffic and had a BAC of 0.19, over twice the legal limit.

“Little Women” Reality Show Star pleads guilty in fatal DUI crash

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From ABC 8 news:

A former reality star has pleaded guilty Wednesday morning in a DUI crash that killed a Coast Guardsman in November of 2017.

Virginia State Police say Melissa Hancock was driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes on I-264 when she hit a Mazda head-on.

The driver of the Mazda, 29-year-old Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel Dill, of Suffolk, died at the hospital.

 

 

…Court records show Hancock’s preliminary breath test yielded a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than double the legal limit of 0.08. Hancock reportedly told state police she had two to four mixed drinks at Peabody’s about an hour before the crash.

 

…Hancock, a former reality star who was on the show “Little Women, Atlanta,” faces 21 years behind bars.  She will be sentenced October 10.

Appellate Court rules blood and urine illegally obtained in fatal DUI case

An Illinois Appellate Court reversed a trial court’s ruling in a fatal DUI crash.

According to the Opinion, the motorist was driving with his children in the back seat.  One of his kids tried to hand him a candy wrapper to open.  When he momentarily turned his head, his van struck a seven year old boy, who was riding a bicycle and had darted out into traffic between two parked cars.  The motorist immediately stopped and ran into the nearby City Hall to get assistance.

The investigating officers testified that they did not observe any indications that the motorist was impaired by either alcohol or drugs.  Nevertheless, he was taken to a hospital to provide blood and urine screens.  The tests results showed the presence of THC and amphetamines and the motorist was charged with DUI.

A few days later, it was determined that the motorist had not been read the “Warnings to Motorist” form that would advise him of his rights regarding the chemical testing.  A second test was then ordered.

The defendant was found guilty and received a sentence of 54 months.

On appeal, the Court noted that there was no probable cause to believe that the motorist was impaired or that he had caused the accident.  No citations had been issued, and he was not under arrest at the time of the blood test, as required by Illinois law.  As a result, the results of the tests were suppressed and since there was no other evidence to support a finding of guilty, his conviction was reversed.

You can read the opinion here:  People v. Hayes, 2018 IL App (5th) 140223 (February 15, 2018) .