Two people were killed and a third was critically injured after being allegedly hit by drunk driver, Juan Rodea-Cruz near 55th Street in Clarendon Hills early Sunday morning. Police say 25-year-old Rodea-Cruz had empty beer cans and pieces of a broken liquor bottle in his vehicle at the scene of the crash.
Rodea-Cruz has been charged with two counts of aggravated DUI causing death and one count of aggravated DUI causing great bodily harm.
According to the police, Rodea-Cruz was driving northbound in the southbound lanes on Route 83 at around 2:47 a.m. when he collided head-on with a vehicle with four people inside.
Two people in the other vehicle were killed. They have been identified as 27-year-old Marko Boskovic and 26-year-old Laura Uribe. A passenger in that vehicle was treated and released and a fourth person was listed in critical condition, but his condition eventually stabilized.
Rodea-Cruz was ordered held on $750,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court again on November 25.
Attorney contributor Brian Kent represents drunk driving crash victims and their families, helping them fight for the financial compensation they need and deserve. Here are some thoughts from Brian on the legal rights of these victims and families in Illinois:
In drunk driving crashes that occur in Illinois, the victims and their families may have legal recourse in two different types of lawsuits. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit can be filed directly against the drunk driver who caused the crash. Additionally, a dram shop lawsuit can be filed against the alcohol vendor who provided alcohol to that driver before the crash.
Each dram shop state has its own laws on this subject. According to Illinois’ dram shop law, alcohol vendors can be sued if:
In many states, vendors can only be held liable if the customer was already visibly intoxicated when alcohol was provided. However, Illinois is not one of these states. Simply providing the alcohol that caused intoxication which led to the crash is enough for an alcohol vendor to be held liable for a drunk driving crash in Illinois.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a crash with a drunk driver, you can learn more about your family’s legal options in a free consultation with a drunk driving injury victims lawyer.