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posted: 6/15/2012 5:13 PM

'Road rage' details emerge in fatal Naperville crash

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  • Michael J. Moreno

      Michael J. Moreno

  • Paul Michna/pmichna@dailyherald.comA small memorial was set up at River Road and Ogden Avenue in Naperville following the death of Lombard motorcyclist Gerald Puglise.

      Paul Michna/pmichna@dailyherald.comA small memorial was set up at River Road and Ogden Avenue in Naperville following the death of Lombard motorcyclist Gerald Puglise.

 

Authorities say an enraged driver cut off a 16-year-old girl in traffic and then "messed with her" by repeatedly braking in the moments before he struck and killed a motorcyclist in Naperville.

The episode unfolded about 5 p.m. Wednesday after the first two drivers met on Fifth Avenue on the city's north side. Law enforcement sources told the Daily Herald Friday that Michael J. Moreno, 31, turned his northbound Infiniti M45 onto westbound Ogden Avenue in front of a Naperville teen in an oncoming Honda, which was turning the same direction and had the right of way.

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With the teen behind him, Moreno began braking repeatedly, the source said. At some point, the other driver passed Moreno and turned left into a gas station parking lot before continuing south onto River Road, the source said.

Giving chase, Moreno bypassed the gas station, turned left at the intersection and into the path of an eastbound motorcycle driven by 63-year-old Gerald Puglise, who was killed, authorities said.

Moreno is accused of fleeing the scene. Police stopped and arrested the Plainfield man a short time later. He was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of marijuana, aggravated reckless driving, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, obstructing police, marijuana possession and failure to yield when turning left.

Puglise, of Lombard, died of massive traumatic injuries to his head and body, DuPage County coroner's officials said Friday, citing a preliminary autopsy report.

Moreno, who has a history of driving offenses and drug arrests, could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges against him. He was being held Friday on $750,000 bail and is scheduled to appear June 25 before Judge George Bakalis.

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