Reporting Lisa Fielding
LYNWOOD, Ill. (STMW) – A south suburban village clerk has been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI for allegedly causing a fatal crash while driving the wrong way on Route 394 earlier this month.
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Roel N. Valle, 64, an employee of the Village of Lynwood, has been charged with one count of aggravated DUI involving death and one count of reckless homicide, according to a release from Illinois State Police.
Valle is being held pending a bond hearing Tuesday morning in Markham, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office.
About 1:15 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, Valle was driving northbound on in the southbound lanes of Route 394 just south of the Bishop Ford Freeway, state police said. His vehicle struck a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus head-on and the impact caused the Chrysler to overturn into the center median.
The passenger in the Chrysler, Melikah Little, was killed instantly. The driver, 27-year-old Angelina Jones of Chicago, was critically injured, police said. Little would have celebrated her 33rd birthday on Tuesday.
Valle then struck a White 1998 Ford Taurus head-on. That car was driven by Melikah Little’s husband, Manuel L. Little, 37, who was traveling directly behind his wife, the release said.
Valle, of 3007 201st Pl. in Lynwood was driving a Black 2008 Ford Taurus owned by the village of Lynwood at the time of the crash. Witnesses reported his vehicle traveling the wrong way at Route 394 and U.S. 30, two miles from the crash scene.
Alcohol and speed were contributory causes of the crash, state police said.
Angelina Jones was also charged with DUI — a Class A misdemeanor — and several traffic violations, state police said. She is due in court Feb. 28.
The charges against Valle are Class 3 felonies. Reckless homicide while operating a vehicle carries a punishment of 2-5 years in prison, while DUI causing death carries a sentence of 3-14 years, the release said.