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Woman, two girls injured in alleged DUI crash

A mother and two young girls -- a 6-year-old and her same-age friend -- were hurt in a car accident as they were heading home from at evening outing at the Drury Lane Theatre. The three were occupants of a sport utility vehicle struck head-on in Oak Park by an alleged intoxicated driver.

At the bond hearing for the 25-year-old drunk driving suspect, a DuPage County assistant state attorney reported the severely injured mother is not expected to walk for at least 10 months. She suffered a compound leg fracture in the crash and endured several corrective surgeries.

The victim's daughter escaped the accident with a broken clavicle. The injuries to the daughter's friend were much more serious. The child is listed in stable condition at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, where she is undergoing treatment for a damaged spleen and traumatic skull and brain injuries.

Emergency responders had to extricate both drivers from the wreckage near York Road and Canterberry Lane, including the injured Cicero man now charged with aggravated drunk driving.

The suspect reportedly told investigating officers he did not remember anything that happened after leaving work at 5 p.m. the night of the crash. The accident occurred nearly three hours and 45 minutes after the man left his job at a Hinsdale restaurant.

A hospital blood test showed the unlicensed driver registered a BAC reading of .149 percent, nearly double the .08 percent legal limit for Illinois. Officers say they found one dozen empty cans of beer in the suspect's vehicle.

The assistant state attorney told a bond court the Cicero man was an undocumented immigrant who posed a flight risk. The government lawyer asked for bail to be set at $500,000. A defense lawyer argued in vain that the bail should be reduced.

The suspect, who was wheelchair-bound and connected to the courtroom through a jail video feed, heard the judge supersede the request. Bail was set at $750,000.

The victims in the crash may be left with short-term and long-term medical bills. The injured mother may also have to deal with lost wages. The families victimized in this incident are entitled to seek compensation for their injuries.

Source: The Chicago Tribune, "Cicero man charged with DUI in crash that injured two girls and mom," Clifford Ward, Nov. 16, 2011

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