A judge has denied pre-trial release for an alleged drunk driver found with a gun after crashing into a Lake County sheriff’s auxiliary deputy’s squad, leaving the deputy injured, in Lake Forest.
The Lake Forest Police Department and Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team (MCAT) were on the scene investigating a serious vehicle crash at Route 41 and Route 60 in Lake Forest.
The original crash occurred around 10:35 p.m. on December 20 and sent two people to the hospital with critical injuries after being ejected from a car that crashed into traffic control devices, according to Lake Forest Deputy Police Chief Michael Lange.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Auxiliary Deputy Unit also responded to the scene and assisted with traffic control.
A Lake County Sheriff’s Office auxiliary deputy’s squad was struck around 1:12 a.m. on December 21 at a traffic control post set up at the scene, Lange said.
The auxiliary deputy was inside their squad car when the collision occurred.
A red 2015 GMC SUV, driven by Aaron Buckley, 22, of Waukegan, was traveling southbound on Route 41 at Deerpath Road when it struck the squad.
Lange said the deputy was injured and transported to Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital for treatment.
The sheriff’s office said luckily the deputy’s injuries were non-life-threatening.
MCAT investigators responded to the secondary crash scene to investigate.
Buckley was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and arrested by officers, Lange said.
Prosecutors said the man admitted to drinking whiskey and taking sleeping pills.
The sheriff’s office called Buckley an “irresponsible and reckless person, who was drunk” and warned motorists to not drink and drive.
Prosecutors said officers also located a 9mm handgun with a loaded magazine in Buckley’s possession.
He is ineligible for a Firearm Owner’s Identification card and claimed the gun belonged to his girlfriend.
Buckley was charged with aggravated driving under the influence, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving an uninsured vehicle and failure to yield to an emergency vehicle.
Buckley was transported to the Lake County Jail and appeared for a detention hearing last week after prosecutors filed a petition to detain him pending trial.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered Buckley held in jail after granting the petition.
Attorney Robert P. Ritacca, who is representing Buckley, filed a motion to reconsider the decision.
Potkonjak denied the motion during a court hearing Friday afternoon. Buckley is scheduled to appear in court again on January 16.