Four are injured in violent early morning crash in Elgin
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News September 23, 2012 6:46PM
Updated: October 25, 2012 6:17AM
ELGIN — An 18-year-old Elgin man has been charged with driving under the influence following an early morning crash Sunday that sent four people to area hospitals, three with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening despite the severity of the crash, police said.
Luis J. Romo, 18, of the 0-100 block of Devonshire Circle, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated driving under the influence, and a felony count of operating an uninsured vehicle involved with an injury accident. According to police, Romo had a blood alcohol count of .17, more than twice the legal limit.
Elgin police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault said Romo was the driver and sole occupant of a Chevy Silverado pickup truck that was westbound on Hastings Street at a high rate of speed at about 12:52 a.m. when it reached Liberty Street (Route 25) without stopping. The truck “blows the stop sign and T-boned a Toyota RAV4,” Theriault said.
The RAV4, a small SUV, spun around and traveled about 1½ houses down from the crash, then struck a parked car with such force that the “struts are snapped in half on the parked car,” Theriault said. The crash’s force also dropped the RAV4’s entire floor, and its exhaust system was found a half block away, he added.
The Silverado continued west on Hastings, just missing another parked car but hitting a tree and taking out about 100 feet of a chain link fence, Theriault said. Portions of the fence’s top railing were embedded in the Silverado, Theriault said, including a section that went through the radiator, engine and firewall, and into the passenger compartment. Other sections pierced the windshield but did not hit Romo, he added.
Both Romo and the three occupants of the RAV4 had to be extricated from their vehicles.
The driver of the RAV4 was identified as Julio Cesar Valazquez, 20, of the 200 block of North McLean Boulevard in Elgin. He was treated at Sherman Hospital in Elgin and released, Theriault said.
Valazquez and his passengers — Emmanuel Martinez, 20, and Mizraim Martinez, 25, both of the 200 block of Hill Avenue, Elgin — were taken to Provena Saint Joseph Hospital in Elgin with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening, Theriault said.