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Authorities identify 21-year-old man killed in Waukegan head-on crash

One person was killed and another was seriously injured during a two-vehicle crash near McAree Road and Sycamore Drive in Waukegan Friday evening. | Photo: Craig / CU-Images.

Authorities have identified a 21-year-old man who died after a head-on crash in Waukegan that also left another man seriously injured Friday evening.

An autopsy showed that Rafael Ruiz, 21, of Waukegan, died of multiple traumatic injuries caused by a vehicle crash, according to Lake County Coroner Dr. Howard Cooper.

The Waukegan Police Department and Waukegan Fire Department responded around 7:20 p.m. Friday to McAree Road and Sycamore Drive for a report of a vehicle crash.

Waukegan Police Cmdr. Edgar Navarro said that officers located a serious crash and requested the Waukegan Police Department’s Major Crash Unit to investigate.

Investigators said a 2014 Chevrolet Cruz was traveling northbound on McAree Road at Sycamore Drive.

The Chevrolet, driven by Ruiz, drove into the southbound lane and struck a 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse.

One person was killed and another was seriously injured during a two-vehicle crash near McAree Road and Sycamore Drive in Waukegan Friday evening. | Photo: Craig / CU-Images.

Ruiz was transported by ambulance to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan where he was pronounced dead from his injuries, Navarro said.

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The driver of the Mitsubishi, who is a man in his 20s from Waukegan, was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with serious injuries. He is expected to survive.

The Lake County Coroner’s Office completed an autopsy on Ruiz on Monday.

“We have been in close contact with Mr. Ruiz’s family and our deepest condolences go out to them during this difficult time. This is truly a tragedy,” Cooper said.

Investigators believe neither driver was wearing their seatbelt and both vehicles were only occupied by their drivers. Toxicology results are pending.

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


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