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Charges filed against man accused of driving drunk in Waukegan crash that killed passenger

Rudi S. Orihuela, 22, of Highland Park.

Charges have been filed against a Highland Park man accused of driving drunk during a high-speed crash that left his passenger dead on the Fourth of July in Waukegan, police said.

Rudi S. Orihuela, 22, of Highland Park, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless homicide and several traffic offenses.

The Waukegan Police Department received a call around 10:45 p.m. Thursday for a serious single-vehicle crash near Bonnie Brook Lane and Lewis Avenue.

Waukegan Police Commander Joe Florip said that a 2008 Black Ford Fusion, driven by Orihuela, was traveling eastbound on Bonnie Brook Lane at a high rate of speed when Orihuela lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree.

The front seat passenger, a North Chicago man in his 20s, was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. Orihuela was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released.

Orihuela was released from the hospital into police custody after being treated for ‘moderate injuries’, Florip said. Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper will release the passenger’s name once his family has been notified.

Investigators believe that both speed and alcohol are the main contributors to the crash, Florip said. Both men were wearing seatbelts.

Orihuela appeared in court on Saturday and a judge set his bond at $200,000. Orihuela posted $20,000 bail and was released from the Lake County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court again on July 23.

The crash remains under investigation by the Waukegan Police Department’s Traffic Division and the Lake County Coroner’s Office.


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