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Senior Killed by Drunk Driver at North Avenue and the Kennedy

4:26 PM CDT on June 4, 2014


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The crash site from Guerrero-Lopez's perspective.

An SUV driver has been charged with a DUI after he fatally struck an elderly pedestrian at North Avenue and the Kennedy Expressway. This was second time in six weeks that a person on foot was killed at this location.

On April 21, Kim Kyeyul, 72, rear-ended a semi truck with his car on North just east of the Kennedy. After he exited his car to talk to the other driver, he was fatally struck by a second trucker.

On Sunday around 6:30 a.m., construction worker Manuel Guerrero-Lopez, 26, was driving west in his 2004 Volkswagen Tourareg, police said. Guerrero-Lopez, of the 8100 block of South Kostner, ran a red light on the west side of the Kennedy viaduct and struck a southbound Toyota Camry exiting the expressway, according to the police report.

The SUV flipped on the passenger side and slid into the eastbound lanes of North, striking Charles Jones, 73, of the 500 block of Monroe Street in Valparaiso, Indiana, according to authorities. Police said Jones was standing in the middle of the street panhandling. However, Jones’ wife Barbara said that she had never known him to panhandle, and that he said he was going to Chicago to look at a new car, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Charles Jones was pronounced dead at the crash scene at 6:48 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. Guerrero-Lopez, who was unable to take a field sobriety test, was transported to Illinois Masonic Hopital. there his blood-alcohol level was found to be .161 percent, more than twice the legal limit, prosecutors said.

Guerrero-Lopez has been charged with aggravated DUI resulting in a death, as well as misdemeanor counts of disobeying a red light, DUI, and failure to exercise due care to avoid a pedestrian in the road, police said. At a hearing on Tuesday, Judge Laura Sullivan ordered him held on $250,000 bond, according to the State’s Attorney’s office. The next hearing is scheduled for June 23.

Barbara Jones described her husband, who was the stepfather of her five children, as a hardworking man who kept a positive attitude, despite losing a leg to complications from diabetes eight years ago, the Tribune reported. “He was an optimist,” she said. “Every morning he’d put that leg on and do something – odd jobs, something.”

Fatality Tracker: 2014 Chicago pedestrian and bicyclist deaths

Pedestrian: 15 (6 were hit-and-run crashes)
Bicyclist: 1 (1 was a hit-and-run crash)

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