North Chicago man pleads guilty to leaving scene of 2017 fatal crash
A North Chicago man faces up to 13 years in prison after admitting to leaving the scene of a 2017 crash that resulted in the death of a 28-year-old Waukegan man.
Tony Salcedo, 27, pleaded guilty Thursday to one charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and a second charge of obstructing justice. Prosecutors agreed to cap the sentence at 10 years for leaving the accident scene and three years on the obstruction charge. The two charges also are probationable, attorneys said.
It will be up to Judge Daniel Shanes to decide whether Salcedo goes to prison and whether he should serve the two sentences at the same time or consecutively.
Assistant State's Attorney Michael Ori dropped a reckless homicide charge in exchange for the plea deal Thursday. Had Salcedo been found guilty that charge, Ori said Salcedo could have been sentenced to 5 years in prison, but the sentence would have been served at the same time.
Salcedo was behind the wheel of a pickup truck in the 0-100 block of Genesee Street in Waukegan at 4:30 a.m. on April 27, 2017, when authorities said he intentionally struck two pedestrians.
Jose J. Diaz, 28, of Waukegan, was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after the crash. A 27-year-old Waukegan man survived.
Authorities said Salcedo accelerated before striking the pedestrians, but defense attorney Dan Zeit said testimony at the sentencing hearing will show Salcedo was being threatened by gang members and drove away in self-defense.
"This is such a terrible tragedy, for both individuals and for both families," Zeit said after court. "You have to feel tremendous sympathy and empathy for the family that lost their son."
After the crash, authorities said, Salcedo dumped the vehicle in a parking lot in Grayslake, which led to the obstruction charge.
Salcedo has been free on bond. He is due back in court Feb. 26 for a two-day sentencing hearing.