Authorities: Driver who hit deputy's SUV in Beach Park was drunk

A Lake County sheriff's deputy escaped injury Sunday night when a pickup truck slammed into a patrol vehicle that was pulled over for a traffic stop, authorities said Monday.

A Zion man has been charged with a DUI in the crash, which occurred about 8:20 p.m. in the area of Lewis Avenue and Wadsworth Road in Beach Park, sheriff's police said.

The police SUV was pulled over to the side of Lewis Avenue with its emergency lights illuminated when it was rear-ended by a northbound Chevrolet pickup truck, according to the sheriff's office.

While later speaking with the driver, Jesus O. Garcia, 50, of the 2700 block of 31st Street in Zion, the deputy smelled alcohol on his breath, sheriff's police said.

Additional deputies responded, conducted a DUI investigation and arrested Garcia on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. He's also charged with resisting a peace officer, failure to yield to an emergency vehicle (Scott's Law violation), operating an uninsured vehicle and other traffic violations.

After an initial court hearing, Garcia was released on a $35,000 recognizance bond and is scheduled to return to court Feb. 15.

Jose O. Garcia
This pickup truck's driver was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol Sunday night after rear-ending Lake County sheriff's patrol vehicle that was pulled over for a traffic stop. Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office
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