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updated: 11/16/2011 6:35 PM

Man charged in Oak Brook crash that injured mom, two girls

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  • Jose D. Rodriguez

    Jose D. Rodriguez


A judge set bail at $750,000 Wednesday for a Cicero man charged with drunken driving in a crash that seriously injured a woman and two 6-year-old girls in Oak Brook.

Prosecutors said Jose D. Rodriguez, 25, was northbound on York Road about 8:45 p.m. Saturday when his 2000 Jeep sped up, veered into southbound lanes, and collided head-on with a sport utility vehicle in the area of Canterbury Lane.

Injured was a woman driving the other vehicle, her 6-year-old daughter and her daughter's friend, also 6. They were headed home from Drury Lane Theater in Oakbrook Terrace, where "The Sound of Music" was playing.

Rodriguez, who suffered a broken hip, and the other driver had to be extricated from the "badly mangled" wreckage, Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Jeff Muntz said in bond court.

Muntz said one of the 6-year-olds, the daughter's friend, was being treated in an intensive care unit for a skull fracture, brain hemorrhaging, cuts and a torn spleen. The other 6-year-old sustained a broken clavicle and several cuts, while her mother had a broken leg and a broken heel.

"I'm told the femur protruded out of the skin in her leg," Muntz told Judge Michael Wolfe of the mother. "Medical staff told her it's going to be about 10 months before she can even try to walk again."

Authorities did not identify the victims.

Muntz said an eyewitness driving behind Rodriguez told police she didn't see him brake before the crash. He said police found 12 empty beer cans in Rodriguez's vehicle, which smelled of alcohol, and he later registered a .149 blood-alcohol level, nearly twice the legal threshold.

Police determined Rodriguez left a shift at a McDonald's restaurant in Hinsdale about three hours before the accident, according to prosecutors.

"He indicated he doesn't remember anything after getting off work," Muntz said. "The investigation is still ongoing as to where the defendant was drinking alcohol."

Prosecutors said Rodriguez was in the U.S. illegally and should be considered a flight risk. His criminal record includes charges of driving without a valid license and driving on a suspended license, Muntz said.

Wolfe topped prosecutors' request for a $500,000 bail and instead set it at $750,000.

Defense attorney Gloria Najera said Rodriguez, who appeared in court wearing a neck brace, is an expecting father who is engaged to a U.S. citizen and seeking a legal residency.

Rodriguez was charged with three counts of aggravated driving under the influence and could face up to 12 years in prison if convicted, Muntz said. He was being held in the DuPage County jail Wednesday afternoon and would need $75,000 to bond out.

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