A man wanted for allegedly driving under the influence and crashing his car at almost 70 mph into a stopped car, killing a 12-month-old baby in North Chicago, has been arrested.
Kelvin A. Vargas-Cajigas, 26, of Chicago, was charged with aggravated driving under the influence causing death and reckless homicide.
The charges stem from a crash that the North Chicago Police Department and North Chicago Fire Department responded to around 4:15 a.m. on November 20, 2021, at Route 41 and Route 137.
An investigation showed a Jeep Grand Cherokee was facing northbound on Route 41 and stopped at the red light at Route 137, officials said at the time.
A Toyota 4Runner, driven by Vargas-Cajigas, was traveling northbound on Route 41 and rear-ended the Jeep.
Officers found the two vehicles to be heavily damaged, prosecutors said.
The Jeep was occupied by a 28-year-old male driver, a 26-year-old woman in the front-seat passenger and a 12-month-old male infant, who was seated behind the front passenger in a child safety seat.
All victims involved in the crash were transported to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. The 12-month-old boy was later pronounced dead, officials said.
An autopsy showed the baby died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.
He was identified as Mekhi Sutton, of Lithia Springs, Georgia.
A grand jury returned a two-count indictment charging Vargas-Cajigas in April.
The indictment said Vargas-Cajigas was driving the vehicle while under the influence of cannabis, which was a contributing factor in the crash.
A crash reconstruction determined Vargas-Cajigas was traveling between 66 and 69 mph at the time his Toyota crashed into the rear of the Jeep, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said a drug recognition expert officer met with Vargas-Cajigas at the hospital and noted clues of impairment on each of the tests administered.
Testing revealed a Delta-9 THC level of 9.2 nanograms deciliter, which is above the legal limit.
An arrest warrant was issued for Vargas-Cajigas’ arrest following the indictment.
He was taken into custody last week — almost eight months after being charged.
During a detention hearing, a judge granted prosecutors’ request to hold Vargas-Cajigas pending trial in the Lake County Jail.