Chicago, IL- Illinois State Police have charged a man with aggravated driving under the influence after causing a fatal wrong-way crash on Eisenhower Expressway Saturday night.
Police say that Miguel Rico, 20, entered the Eisenhower Expressway on the eastbound exit ramp at Harlem. As he was entering the expressway exit in his Dodge minivan, he collided with a 2001 Ford carrying three passengers just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning.
The Ford driver Monica Hernandez, 20, and passenger Briana Resto, 19, were both killed. Another passenger Brittney Mouzan survived the accident.
Mouzan, the sole survivor of the crash described to WLS-TV Chicago what happened. “Out of nowhere,” Brittney Mouzon said. “Monica was like, ‘Oh my god.’ I looked up to see a car driving straight towards us.”
Mouzon said Hernandez tried to turn to the left to avoid the collision, while the minivan swerved in the same direction, hitting their vehicle head on. The impact of the crash left the Ford mangled, trapping Mouzon inside.
Mouzon said she tried to rouse her friends who were both slumped over in the vehicle, but they were unresponsive. She then busted out the windshield of the Ford, which was on its side, to escape the wreckage. Most of her injuries were cuts and scrapes, which she sustained crawling through the broken window.
Rico, the wrong-way driver and a passenger in his vehicle were also injured. They were taken to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood for treatment, where Rico was under guard while the accident was being investigated.
Rico was later charged with aggravated DUI Sunday and was taken to the Maywood jail that afternoon.
Police also discovered that Rico had a warrant out for his arrest on a 2011 drug possession charge. A judge ordered that Rico be held without bond on Sunday, the Chicago Sun Times reported. Rico’s blood alcohol level has not been reported.
The families of the two young women who were killed called for justice.
In Illinois, an aggravated DUI that involves death can result in a jail sentence from 1 year in jail to 28 years in jail depending on the circumstances of the arrest such as blood alcohol level and number of fatalities. When a driver is charged with one death their jail term cannot be less than three years with a maximum of years. If the DUI accident involves two deaths the offender faces a minimum of six year in jail with a maximum of 28 years. Typically, the offender cannot receive probation unless the court can find “extraordinary circumstances” which make a suspended sentence necessary.
An aggravated DUI involving death is an offense that should be taken seriously by the accused and carries tough penalties. It is important that anyone charged with a DUI whether it involves a fatal accident or a misdemeanor DUI should have a DUI attorney on their side. With the help of an attorney it is possible for the offender to plea to lesser charge or to seek a reduced penalty.