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updated: 10/11/2013 9:00 PM

Cops think driver was under influence when he crashed

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A Gurnee-area man was believed to be drunk and driving with marijuana in his system when he died in a crash on Route 41 in Lake Forest, authorities said Friday.

Lance Nazario, 20, of West Nemesis Avenue in unincorporated Lake County near Gurnee, was killed and two other men injured in a crash about 2:35 a.m. Thursday, authorities said. Nazario died of multiple injuries and was not wearing a seat belt, Lake County Coroner Thomas Rudd said.

Nazario's passengers, both 24 and from Waukegan, were taken to hospitals for treatment of their injuries. Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Karl Walldorf said one of the men remained at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville while the other has been released.

Preliminary testing by the coroner's office shows Nazario had a blood alcohol content of more than .08 when the wreck occurred and appeared to have THC -- the active chemical in marijuana -- in his system, Walldorf said. A small bag of pot was found in the four-door sedan, he said.

Nazario was driving on Route 41 north of Westleigh Road when his vehicle left the highway on a bend in the road, struck several trees and rolled over, according to police. That stretch of northbound Route 41 turns sharply left, then goes in the opposite direction to curve under a railroad viaduct.

Walldorf said Nazario's car appeared to have struck the center median on Route 41 before veering right and off the pavement.

Investigators interviewed the rear-seat passenger, who claimed he had consumed vodka while the men were in Chicago, authorities said.

"But he was reluctant to discuss where, how much (or) what the other two had to drink," Walldorf said. "He indicated they were headed home from Chicago when the crash occurred. According to my guys on scene, all three smelled strongly of alcohol at the time of the crash."

Walldorf said it's believed only the rear passenger was wearing a seat belt.

An examination of the crash scene indicates Nazario was driving over the posted 45 mph limit when the wreck happened, Walldorf said. Investigators hope to free the event data recorder from the car and download the information from it as soon as possible.

Twitter: @DHBobSusnjara

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