Man charged in Lake County crash that killed 8-month-old boy and his mother

Updated 3/17/2023 12:58 PM

A Zion man was charged with felony reckless homicide this week after officials determined he was responsible for a fatal crash in October near Waukegan that killed an 8-month-old boy and his 29-year old mother, the Lake County Sheriff's Office announced Friday.

An arrest warrant was issued for Jarelle D. Brown, 28, of the 2200 block of Carmel Boulevard, on Wednesday after a grand jury indicted Brown on two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of driving under the influence of cannabis, officials said.


Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said investigators recently told Brown over the phone there was a warrant out for his arrest and encouraged him to turn himself in, which he had not done as of Friday morning. Covelli said if Brown doesn't turn himself in, the matter will be referred to those in the sheriff's office who search arrest warrants.

Crash investigators determined Brown was driving over 75 miles per hour and was under an intoxicating level of cannabis during the crash, which happened at around 4:15 p.m. on Oct. 29 on Green Bay Road near Atlantic Avenue near Waukegan.

Brown was driving a Dodge Journey SUV northbound on Green Bay Road when he struck a Toyota sedan that was pulling out of a parking lot. Waukegan resident Cecilia Gutierrez-Ramos, who was sitting in the front passenger seat of the Toyota, and her son Angel Gutierrez, who was restrained in a car seat behind the driver, both died of blunt-force injuries from the crash. The driver of the Toyota, who officials said is a 27-year-old Waukegan man, and a 7-year-old boy were both hospitalized with injuries from the crash.

Brown and the two passengers in his SUV were hospitalized as well.

When asked why the charges against Brown took more than four months, Covelli said crashes involving death or great bodily harm require extensive investigations including obtaining records from sources such as hospitals and corporations. Crash investigators examine thousands of data points to determine criminal responsibility in a crash, he said.

"To simply rush would be completely irresponsible," Covelli said. "Accuracy is far more important than speed."

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