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Man charged in connection with high-speed crash that killed young Zion mother

Sierra Riley, 20, of Zion, was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Route 41 in Lake Forest last week | Photo: GoFundMe.

A man has been charged with driving under the influence in connection with the high-speed crash in Lake Forest that killed a 20-year-old mother from Zion and injured others in March, police announced Monday.

Christopher L. Lewis, 31, of the 2100 block of Joppa Aveue in Zion, was charged with two counts of aggravated driving under influence reckless homicide, eight counts of aggravated driving under influence causing bodily harm, two counts of aggravated driving under influence causing great bodily harm and driving on a suspended or revoked license.

Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Rob Copeland said that a four-door Buick sedan was traveling northbound on Route 41 on March 29 at 3:56 a.m. when it drove off the right shoulder north of Westleigh Road.

The vehicle struck several trees and came to a rest down a steep embankment where it caught on fire. Paramedics pronounced Sierra Riley, 20, of Zion, dead at the scene and transported three other people, including Lewis, to area hospitals.

Christopher L. Lewis, 31, of Zion.

At the time, Copeland said that Lewis and a 27-year-old North Chicago man were transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville and then both transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood for additional treatment.

A 21-year-old Grayslake woman was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center where she was treated and released. She was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash and received only minor injuries.

Copeland said that Lewis was the driver of the vehicle and a preliminary examination by investigators and witness reports indicate the vehicle was driving over the 45 MPH speed limit. Investigators also determined Lewis was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of the crash.

The crash happened at a part of Route 41 where the road turns sharply left and then right again to curve underneath the railroad viaduct.

According to a GoFundMe post, Riley was a mother to a 1-year-old child. A relative of Riley told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that Lewis and Riley were dating at the time of the crash.

Lewis was taken into custody on a warrant Saturday at a Lake County residence. He remains held in the Lake County Jail on a $750,000 bond.


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