Driver Charged Four Months After Double-Fatal Wreck
CHICAGO (CBS) – A Chicago man has been charged with reckless homicide in a crash that left two people dead on the Northwest Side last November.
Renardo Wilson, 24, of 155 N. Pine Ave., has been charged with two counts of reckless homicide, one count of possession of a stolen vehicle, and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury or death, according to police.
He was arrested Wednesday in Maywood. In court on Thursday, bond was set at $600,000 and his next court appearance was set for March 17, according to Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokeswoman Tandra Simonton.
The crash happened on Nov. 26, 2010, at the intersection of Pulaski and Addison, police said. Wilson allegedly was driving a stolen 1998 Honda Accord and was speeding north on Pulaski Road when he disobeyed a red light and collided with another vehicle that was eastbound on Addison, police said.
Javier Cisneros and Deborah Ceglarek, both 51, died of injuries suffered in the crash, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. A Nov. 27 autopsy determined Cisneros died of multiple injuries from a vehicle collision and Ceglarek died of head injuries. Both deaths were ruled accidental.
Wilson was also hospitalized after the accident, fire officials said.The victims’ families were angry that Wilson was at first charged only with misdemeanors. Both of the victims who died in the crash worked together at a well known northwest side restaurant, The Gale Street Inn. Cisneros, a chef, had worked there for two decades; Ceglarek, a waitress, had been on the staff for 25 years.
Restaurant owner George Karzas said Ceglarek, a mother of two, was the “sweetest girl in the world” and worked half of her life for him. Cisneros was a father of three and a grandfather.
“You never saw a man so proud when he got his citizenship,” Karzas said. “And he talked to the other staff members that they, too, can live the dream here.”On the night of the crash, Cisneros had asked Ceglarek for a ride home. Their lives ended in the 3900 block of West Addison when Wilson allegedly ran through a red light while driving a stolen car and smashed into the side of their car.
“I was told by the police that the car was stolen,” Karzas said at the time. “It was stolen an hour earlier. He stole the car, he ran the red light, and he T-boned them.”
At the time, Wilson was charged only with five misdemeanors: reckless driving, driving without a license and without insurance, disobeying a red light and leaving the scene of an accident.
Wilson was seriously hurt in the wreck and was treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital. He was arrested nearly four months after the accident in west suburban Maywood.
“To destroy people’s lives and then to act as if it’s nothing, it’s just unheard of, it’s not human,” Karen Hernandez, Ceglarek’s sister, said at her sister’s wake a few days after the crash.
Said Karzas: “How this guy gets off with just a slap on the wrist is mind-blowing.”
After filing the initial charges, Chicago police said they were leaving open the possibility that more charges may be filed against Wilson. As one officer put it at the time, “He’s not going anywhere. He’s in the hospital.”
(The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.)