Cook County Driving While Impaired By Drugs And Accidents

Driving while impaired by drugs is becoming increasingly common, and, in addition to drunk driving, continues to be a significant traffic safety issue both nationally as well as locally, such as in Cook County as well as throughout the Chicago area.   This “drugged driving” can include many drugs, with commonly-involved drugs including marijuana, heroin, meth, and cocaine.  If “mixed drug use” occurs, the level of impairment can increase.  As well, if alcohol is used with the drugs, an increased level of impairment can occur.  The subject of drug-impaired driving is further discussed on the “Cook County Car Accidents Involving Drivers Under The Influence Of Drugs” page.   Various Cook County accidents in which the driver was impaired by drugs are mentioned.  As seen in these accidents, many result in serious injuries, and some of these injuries resulted in fatalities.

Driving while impaired by drugs is the subject of the May 31, 2018 Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) press release (with full report) titled “Marijuana, Opioids Most Common Drugs Found in Fatally Injured Drivers.”

Two excerpts from the press release:

new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) finds that in 2016, 44% of fatally-injured drivers with known results tested positive for drugs, up from 28% just 10 years prior. More than half of these drivers had marijuana, opioids, or a combination of the two in their system.

also:

“Too many people operate under the false belief that marijuana or opioids don’t impair their ability to drive, or even that these drugs make them safer drivers,” noted GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins. “Busting this myth requires states to expand their impaired driving campaigns to include marijuana and opioids along with alcohol to show drivers that impairment is impairment, regardless of substance.”

Additional details concerning this driving while impaired by drugs and alcohol issue can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

On this site, Cook County accidents involving the driver’s use of drugs and/or alcohol can be seen in posts found under the “DUI” category.

Rollover Crash On Lake Shore Drive Near Monroe

There was a rollover crash on Lake Shore Drive early Saturday morning (December 9,2017).  A man has been charged with DUI following the accident, which happened on Lake Shore Drive near Monroe Drive.

As discussed on the “Cook County Rollover Accidents” page, rollover accidents can happen in many different situations.  However, there are common factors that typically contribute to a car or other vehicle rolling over.  One such factor is the vehicle traveling at a higher speed.

An excerpt regarding the driver (John Ondrey Gruber, 28, of Ohio) and the crash from the December 12, 2017 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Man charged with DUI after Lake Shore Drive rollover crash“:

About 1:10 a.m., Gruber was driving a 2008 Jeep south on Lake Shore Drive near Monroe Drive “at a high rate of speed” when he lost control and smashed into the median, police said. The Jeep then overturned following the impact.

Gruber was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries.

According to Chicago Police, he was cited for various infractions, including a misdemeanor count of DUI.

Additional details regarding this DUI crash that involved a car rollover can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Fatal SUV Rollover Crash In Archer Heights

“Drugged driving” – also called drug-impaired driving – is notable in many aspects.  Such driving and resulting accidents has been increasing.  On this site, various accidents in which the driver was impaired by drugs at the time of the crash have been discussed.

Another fatal Chicago traffic accident (involving a SUV rollover) in which the driver was allegedly drug-impaired at the time of the crash happened on Sunday (July 25, 2017) in Chicago’s Archer Heights neighborhood (Southwest Side.)

According to prosecutors, the driver (David Arocho, 24, of Chicago) was “high” on opioids, Vicodin, and possibly PCP.

The fatal accident is discussed in the Chicago Tribune article titled “Prosecutors:  Driver high on opioids, Vicodin, PCP in fatal Southwest Side crash” as well as the July 26 dnainfo.com article titled “Driver Used PCP, Stuck Foot Out Window Before Fatal Crash, Prosecutors Say.”

An excerpt from the dnainfo.com article:

David Arocho, 24, was behind the wheel of a 1996 GMC Jimmy SUV when he rammed into a car stopped at a light, causing his own SUV to flip in a crash that killed his passenger, 26-year-old Jessica Kall, authorities said.

Arocho is charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI causing death. He was also cited for speeding, driving without a license and driving without insurance.

also:

At the intersection of Archer and Avers avenues, prosecutors said, Arocho rammed his SUV into a stopped Jeep — sending the Jeep into the intersection and causing the GMC Jimmy to flip onto its top.

During the accident Kall was ejected from the SUV.  She was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

Arocho suffered minor injuries to the neck and leg, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment of these accident injuries.

The driver of the Jeep, a 35-year-old woman, was not injured during the “rear-end” collision.

At the time the SUV “rear-ended” the Jeep the SUV was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed.

Additional details regarding this Chicago fatal accident can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Fatal West Town Car Collision

There was a fatal car collision Saturday (January 28, 2017) in the West Town Chicago neighborhood.  One driver died and three other people were injured during the crash.

According to Chicago Police, the accident happened at approximately 1:35 p.m., as a man driving west on Hubbard Street in a Jeep Cherokee “ran” a stop sign and struck a Toyota Camry that was traveling northbound on North Ashland.

The driver of the Camry, a 58-year-old man, was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

The driver of the Jeep Cherokee along with two passengers in the Jeep were taken to Stroger Hospital for treatment of accident injuries that were considered to be non-life-threatening in nature.

An excerpt from the Chicago Sun-Times article (with crash scene photo) of January 28, 2017 titled “Man charged with DUI after fatal West Town crash” with regard to the driver of the Jeep Cherokee:

Yonatan D. Monrroy-Madrid, 19, faces one felony count of aggravated DUI causing an accident resulting in a death, according to a statement from Chicago Police. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of DUI and cited for operating a motor vehicle without insurance, failing to stop at a stop sign and failing to reduce speed.

Additional details and possible updates regarding this fatal Chicago collision can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the January 28 Chicago Tribune article titled “1 dead, 3 injured in West Town traffic crash.”

Single-Car Crash In Evanston Injures Three Men

There was a single-car crash in Evanston on January 21, 2017 after which the driver was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI.)  The driver and two other passengers were injured in the crash.

According to Evanston Police, the accident happened just after 3:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Sheridan Road.

The driver was identified only as a 28-year-old man from Chicago.

An excerpt from the Chicago Sun-Times article (with crash scene photo) of January 21, 2017, titled “Driver arrested after 3 injured in Evanston crash“:

The driver and two passengers — a 28-year-old man and a 29-year-old man — were taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, police said. The driver was treated for broken bones and was in surgery Saturday. The 29-year-old suffered a broken femur.

The 28-year-old passenger was the most seriously injured and suffered brain bleeding, police said. All three men live in Chicago.

[note: on this site, head injuries are further discussed on the “Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)” page.]

As seen in the crash scene photo, the car seems to have collided “head-on” with a concrete support.

Additional details regarding this crash can be seen in various media sources, including the Chicago Sun-Times article mentioned above, as well as the January 21, 2017 Wilmette Patch article titled “Serious Crash Closes Sheridan Road in Evanston.”

Car Accidents Involving Driver Drug Use

As frequently discussed on this site, many Chicago area vehicle accidents are caused by drivers who drive after drinking.  These DUI accidents include various devastating accidents after drunk drivers became “wrong-way” drivers.  Drunk drivers have been involved in many types of accidents, including collisions with motorcyclists and bicyclists.

In addition to drunk driving accidents, there are also accidents caused by drivers who drive after becoming intoxicated with drugs.  This drug use can include many forms, including injections, sniffing of chemicals, and “huffing.”

On Sunday (December 18, 2016) there was an accident in Prospect Heights, in which a driver allegedly overdosed on heroin and “rear-ended” another car.  According to Prospect Heights Police, the accident happened Sunday at Palatine Road near Milwaukee Avenue.

An excerpt from the Daily Herald article of December 19, 2016, titled “Police:  Driver overdoses on heroin, causes 2-car crash in Prospect Heights“:

Police say driving under the influence charges are pending against a 31-year-old man they say overdosed on heroin Sunday while behind the wheel of a car in Prospect Heights, causing a two-car crash that left another person injured.

One of the occupants in the car that was “rear-ended,” identified as a 62-year-old Wheeling resident, was taken to Glenbrook Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries, and released.

The 31-year-old was revived after the Prospect Heights Fire District personnel arrived, and the man was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge.

Another excerpt from the Daily Herald article mentioned above:

Items were located in the striking vehicle leading investigators to suspect illegal drug use, police said. Investigators later interviewed the man at the hospital, and he admitted injecting heroin before driving, according to police.

Additional details regarding this crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Daily Herald article mentioned above as well as the CBS Chicago article (with video) titled “Driver Overdosing On Heroin Causes Car Accident, Cops Revive Him.”

Drug Use Before Driving

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is often heard as a reason for or contributing factor to car and other vehicle crashes.  However, intoxication by drugs or by inhaling chemicals (sniffing or “huffing”) are other ways in which one can become intoxicated before driving.   The list of drugs that drivers have used before crashing is extensive, and includes marijuana, cocaine, heroin and various hallucinogens.

Sometimes, drivers can be intoxicated on both alcohol and drugs.  Driving while intoxicated on drugs has caused many crashes, including some recent notable fatal accidents in the Chicago area as well as nationally.

On July 5, 2016, there was a fatal car crash in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood.  This crash is summarized in the July 6 post titled “Fatal Car Crash In Chicago’s Brighton Park Neighborhood.”

Two later articles discuss the accident and additional details regarding the causes for that crash, which allegedly involved drug intoxication.  Those articles are the July 8 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Prosecutor:  woman drinking, had PCP in system before deadly crash” as well as the July 8 dnainfo article titled “Driver was going 89 MPH, On PCP When She Caused Fatal Crash:  Prosecutors.”

Two excerpts from the dnainfo article:

A South Side woman was driving 89 mph on California Avenue when she caused a fatal crash in Brighton Park late Tuesday, prosecutors said. The speed limit is 30 mph.

Tania Reyna, 39, tested positive for PCP and had three bottles of Grey Goose vodka in her car, Assistant State’s Attorney Erika Gilliam Booker said during a bond hearing Friday.

also:

Reyna is charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI causing death. She was also cited for running a stop sign, failure to reduce speed, failure to stay in her own lane and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Additionally, distracted driving may have played a role in the crash.  An excerpt from the Chicago Sun-Times article:

Reyna, 39, also told officers she had been drinking the alcoholic beverage Four Loko and fighting with her boyfriend before she slammed into Carlos De Lourdes’ car at 44th Street and California, according to her arrest report.

Additional details regarding this fatal Chicago crash can be seen in the sources mentioned above.

Fatal Car Crash In Chicago’s Brighton Park Neighborhood

There was a fatal car collision late Tuesday (July 5, 2016) in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood (South Side.)  According to Chicago Police, the accident was alcohol-related.

The man killed was 28 years old.  As well, there were two other people who were injured.

According to Chicago Police, the accident happened at approximately 11:45 p.m., as a 39-year-old woman was driving south on California Avenue.  At that time, she “ran” a stop sign and then struck another car that was traveling eastbound on 44th Street.

The car traveling on 44th Street struck a light pole and another pole before coming to a stop.  The driver, a 28-year-old man, was pinned in the car and had to be extricated by the Chicago Fire Department.  After being freed from the car, he was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries, where he was pronounced dead.

The car that ran the stop sign continued going southbound on California, and struck at least two parked cars.  The driver was taken to Stroger Hospital for treatment of her accident injuries.

An excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article of July 6, 2016, titled “Man killed in alcohol-related crash in Brighton Park, authorities say“:

The crash is believed to be alcohol-related, police said.

The 39-year-old woman is in custody, and charges are pending against her.

Additional details regarding this Chicago car crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Chicago Tribune article mentioned above, as well as the July 6 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Police investigate fatal crash in Brighton Park.”

Man Dies Following Chicago Chain-Reaction Crash

There was a fatal car accident in Chicago’s Norwood Park neighborhood Monday night, January 18, 2016.

An excerpt from the January 21, 2016 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “No bond for driver charged with DUI in fatal NW side crash“:

A 19-year-old man who admitted drinking beer, smoking pot and taking muscle relaxers before causing a fatal crash Monday night on the Northwest Side was ordered held without bond Thursday.

Mishel Lame, 19, was charged with aggravated DUI causing a fatal accident, and cited for negligent driving, failure to reduce speed and operating a vehicle without insurance, according to Chicago Police.

According to prosecutors, the accident happened at 7:25 p.m. as a white 2011 BMW driven by Lame was allegedly speeding northbound in the 5100 block of North Nagle.

Then, a collision occurred, which then caused a “chain-reaction” crash.  An excerpt from the January 21 article titled “Teen Drank, Smoked Pot, Took Muscle Relaxers Before Fatal Crash:  Court“:

Lame was driving a white BMW northbound on Nagle Avenue when he rear-ended a Jeep that was stopped at the intersection of Nagle and Carmen, prosecutors said. The Jeep slammed into a Lexus that was stopped in front of it — sending the Lexus into oncoming traffic, where it crashed into a Honda that had been heading south on Nagle, according to Salas-Wail.

Meanwhile, Lame’s BWM spun around and struck a tree on the east side of Nagle, prosecutors said, knocking down the tree. Lame had been speeding, according to police.

When officers arrived on the scene, they saw Lame standing on the sidewalk about 10 feet from the BMW. His passenger, 20-year-old Marion-Mario Tahiraj, was trapped inside Lame’s car, prosecutors said.

Tahiraj had to be extricated from the car, and he was then taken to Lutheran General Hospital for treatment of his accident injuries.  He was later pronounced dead.

None of the occupants in the other vehicles (the Jeep, Lexus or Honda) were seriously injured in the chain-reaction crash.

Additional details and possible updates can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the Chicago Sun-Times and dnainfo.com articles mentioned above.

Woman Dies After Dan Ryan Crash

There was a fatal car accident on the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-94) on Friday, November 27, 2015, in which a man has been charged with DUI.

According to the Illinois State Police (ISP) the accident happened at approximately 12:29 a.m., as a northbound car crashed into a wall in the express lanes at 31st Street.

Three people were traveling in the car; a male driver, a female passenger, and a 2-year-old child.

All three vehicle occupants were taken to Stroger Hospital for treatment of their accident injuries.  The female passenger, identified as Chalan V. Peterson, 29, of Bellwood, died at the hospital.  The male driver and the child suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver was charged with DUI.

Additional details and possible updates concerning this Chicago crash can be seen in a variety of media sources, including the November 28, 2015 Chicago Sun-Times article titled “Police:  Woman killed, two others injured in DUI crash on Dan Ryan” as well as the November 28 NBC Chicago article titled “Woman Dies, Two Others Injured, in DUI Crash on Dan Ryan.”