An arrest warrant was issued for a Zion man who police say was driving “excessively fast” while intoxicated before crashing into another vehicle in unincorporated Waukegan. The October crash killed an infant and his mother and left several others seriously injured.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Gurnee Fire Department responded on October 29, 2022, to the intersection of Green Bay Road and Atlantic Avenue in unincorporated Waukegan for a report of a vehicle crash.
Deputies arrived and found two vehicles with major damage, Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said at the time.
The preliminary investigation showed a Dodge Journey, driven by Jarelle D. Brown, 28, of Zion, was traveling northbound on Green Bay Road.
A Toyota Corolla, driven by a then-27-year-old Waukegan man, pulled out onto Green Bay Road from a private parking lot on the east side of the roadway, Covelli said.
A t-bone crash occurred where the Toyota was struck on its driver’s side by the Dodge.
An eight-month-old boy from Waukegan suffered critical injuries. He was restrained in a car seat behind the driver of the Toyota.
Paramedics transported the boy, later identified as Angel Gutierrez, to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville where he was pronounced dead, Covelli said.
A 29-year-old Waukegan woman, identified as Cecilia Gutierrez-Ramos, who was in the front passenger seat of the Toyota, was pronounced dead at the scene.
A then-7-year-old boy from Waukegan, who was seated behind the front passenger in the Toyota, suffered serious injuries. He was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center.
The man driving the Toyota was also transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center with serious injuries.
Brown was transported to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan with serious injuries, Covelli said.
Two passengers in the Dodge, a then-19-year-old Beach Park man and a then-24-year-old Zion man, were transported to Vista Medical Center East with minor injuries.
An autopsy by the Lake County Coroner’s Office showed that both the boy and his mother died as a result of blunt force injuries from a vehicle crash.
Rocio Morales Flores, who is a relative of Gutierrez-Ramos, created a GoFundMe account to help raise money for funeral costs. Nearly 100 donors raised just over $6,000.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Unit concluded their investigation and determined that Brown, of the 2200 block of Carmel Boulevard in Zion, was “driving excessively fast,” Covelli said Friday morning.
Brown was allegedly driving over 75 miles per hour before crashing with the Toyota.
He was also driving while intoxicated on cannabis, Covelli said.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office presented the facts to a grand jury, who indicted Brown on two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of driving under the influence of cannabis.
A judge issued an arrest warrant for Brown and set his bond at $1 million.
Covelli said that Brown has not surrendered himself to police despite being made aware of his warrant.