Trial begins for West Chicago man charged in deadly DUI crash

Omar Montoya Medina told police he had only had four beers, two of which were 32 ounces each, in the hours leading up to a fiery crash that left Montoya severely burned and a Warrenville man dead.

Medina, 29, of the 100 block of East Pomeroy Street in West Chicago is standing trial this week, charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing death.

Montoya Medina also told police he didn't remember details about crashing his brother-in-law's green Volkswagen, head-on into a white Honda Accord at about 11 p.m. on Dec. 5, 2014 at Route 59 and Gary's Mill Road in West Chicago.

Several police officers testified Monday that Montoya Medina was traveling north on Route 59 approaching Gary's Mill Road when 37-year-old Antonio Alvarez tried to make a left turn onto Route 59 from westbound Gary's Mill. Montoya Medina then crashed his vehicle into Alvarez's vehicle at the intersection.

West Chicago Police officers Richard Langelan and Gregory Bowers both testified that Alvarez's car was "fully engulfed" in flames when they arrived at the scene.

Officers found Montoya Medina and his passenger with burns and other injuries. Alvarez, of Warrenville, was found dead inside his car, his remains burned so badly he was identified using the DNA of a close relative.

Langelan said Montoya Medina told him he had "just a couple" beers but Langelan stayed with him at the hospital as his blood was drawn nearly two hours after the crash and when his urine was forcefully extracted with a catheter nearly three hours after the crash.

Authorities said Montoya Medina's blood-alcohol concentration was .16, double the legal threshold.

Montoya has been held on $500,000 bail since his arrest when he was released from the hospital. His bench trial before Judge Brian Telander resumes at 11 a.m. Wednesday with more prosecution witnesses.

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