Authorities say a 22-year-old man died in a crash in Waukegan where an alleged gang member was found with a gun when firefighters were extricating him from the wreckage.
A Waukegan Fire Department battalion chief came upon a serious crash around 9:03 p.m. Thursday at Grand Avenue and McAree Road in Waukegan.
The chief reported one of the vehicles was on fire and called multiple ambulances to the scene, according to fire department radio traffic.
The passenger of one of the vehicles was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville in critical condition.
That victim died hours later early Friday morning while in the intensive care unit, according to Lake County Chief Deputy Coroner Steve Newton.
Newton said the victim was identified as Carlos Colon, 22, of Waukegan.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Lillian Lewis said in court that the female driver of one of the vehicles involved told officers the other vehicle, driven by Kevin Apaez, 29, of Waukegan, struck her car.
Surveillance camera footage shared with Lake and McHenry County Scanner showed Apaez’s red vehicle traveling westbound on Grand Avenue and entering the intersection on a yellow light at a high rate of speed.
The female driver’s blue SUV was seen attempting to make a left turn onto McAree Avenue from eastbound Grand Avenue when the light turned yellow, the video showed.
The two vehicles collided in a t-bone-style crash.
Apaez was trapped in the driver’s seat of his car and had to be extricated by firefighters.
Officers located a loaded Glock handgun on the driver’s side after Apaez was removed from the car, Lewis said.
Lewis said Apaez does not have a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification card or concealed carry license.
He is a convicted felon and was convicted in a 2014 armed robbery case along with a 2012 unlawful possession of a firearm by a gang member case.
Apaez is a documented Maniac Latin Disciples gang member, Lewis said.
Attorney Daniel Zeit, who is representing Apaez, said his client’s criminal past is “behind him.”
Zeit claimed Apaez was stopped at a red light when his car was struck. The attorney also said his client does not know where the gun came from.
Lake County Judge Veronica O’Malley ordered Apaez held on a $500,000 bond, noting the man’s extensive criminal history.
Apaez was charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a gang member and two counts of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
He was released from the Lake County Jail after posting 10% of his bond, records show.
Apaez is scheduled to appear in court again on August 15.