Man allegedly drank 24 beers before crash

Sept. 12, 2007 at 12:31 PM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Chicago prosecutors say a man accused of running a red light and killing a Cook County sheriff's office supervisor drank 24 beers before the crash.

Prosecutors said Leonel Ortiz, who faces aggravated drunken driving and reckless homicide charges for the Sunday morning collision that resulted in the death of Minerva Santiago, superintendent of the Department of Women's Justice Services at the Cook County Jail, drank the large amount of alcoholic beverages in the hours before the accident, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

Judge Joseph Panarese was told by a police officer that Ortiz was not present for his bond hearing due to a leg injury sustained during the crash. Bond was set at $400,000.

Assistant State's Attorney Mikki Miller said at the hearing that Ortiz spent Saturday night and Sunday morning "attending several parties with two male friends." Miller said Ortiz drank two additional beers while driving his Chevy Blazer in the moments before he allegedly ran the red light and collided with Santiago's car.

His blood alcohol content was found to be .194, more than twice the legal limit.

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