Wrong-Way Edens Driver Apologizes For Jeopardizing Motorists

GLENVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — The 24-year-old Glenview man charged with driving the wrong way on the Edens Expressway while drunk earlier this week apologized Friday for putting other motorists in jeopardy.

Sergio Galez-Delira also told CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez that alcohol wasn’t the only thing in his system as he barreled into oncoming traffic for 10 minutes early Thursday, from Chicago through Lincolnwood, Skokie, Wilmette and Northfield to Glencoe.

“I am on anti-depressants as well,” he said.

Galez-Delira claims he’s never had that much to drink before and won’t do it again. He also knows he’s extremely lucky no one was hurt.

“It was like one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever done. And there’s nothing I can (do to) take it back — only to apologize and say I’m sorry.”

Meanwhile, Illinois State Police on Friday released 911 calls from terrified motorists.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

Police say Galez-Delira got on the southbound Edens at Elston Avenue and began heading north around 2:30 a.m. Police finally arrested him near Tower Road.

The first 911 call came from a driver who calmly reported that she had just passed Elston on the Edens, and that a silver-colored sport-utility vehicle headed the wrong way.

Another caller reported that she almost slammed into the driver head-on.

“Hi, I’m coming in on the Kennedy inbound and there’s a car going the wrong way. I just about hit him head on. He’s going the wrong way about 60, 70 mph just past the Cicero exit (on the Edens),” one woman said.

“I don’t know if he’s drunk of if he’s trying to kill himself,” she continued.

Other calls came in as the driver advanced.

“I just passed Touhy. I got goose pimples,” a man said. “He would have hit somebody. He would have killed me. He’s going a million miles an hour.”

A trooper explained that drunken drivers often get confused and end up driving the wrong way in the far-left fast lane, thinking they are actually driving in the far-right slow lane.

Galez-Delira was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, having an open alcohol container in the vehicle, improper lane usage an driving without insurance, police said.

State Police Master Sergeant Joseph Stangl, who took some of the calls personally, said he could not recall any drunk driver ever traveling that far and for that long of a time. He credited the timing of the incident and the light traffic on the Edens for avoiding a major crash.

“The driver managed to avoid striking any other vehicles, but this could have turned into a horrific tragedy based on one driver’s decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated,” Stangl said. “Several callers reported they were nearly sideswiped by other drivers, and they were fearful of how to gain control of their vehicles.”

  • Bill S.

    Take this butt-heads license, Jesse White!

    • Roberta Waker

      Did he even have a license? If so, revoke it, send him to AA, put one of those breathalizer systems in his car and make him show proof of insurance in case he does something so stupid again. He broke a lot of laws and should be penalized severely, apology or not, he could have killed someone.

  • malcom

    If anyone ever drove around Chicago they would know the metro area has the worst drivers in America.

  • Dave

    We the people accept your apology. Pay your fine and be more careful next time. There’s no need for severe punishment, there was no harm done. Anyone can make a mistake and I’m sure you wont do that ever again.

  • Joe Skarf

    This guy shouldn’t be allowed on ANY road ever again. I hope WBBM you will give us the follow–up on what happens to him, if anything, by a Court of Law.

    His punishment should be a total revocation of all driving privileges for five years, six months in jail and substance abuse counselling and sobriety.

    And I hope that all car insurers then REFUSE to insure his most “sorry” azz again so that he can NEVER legally DRIVE.

    THEN let’s hear HOW really “SORRY” he TRULY will be THEN.

  • Liz Shambaugh

    Joe, I think that having all insurance companies refuse to insure him would be just about the worst thing. Do you think that people with no insurance decide not to drive because of that? No…they still drive, and either leave the scene after an accident, or just won’t pay anything to fix the other person’s car. If they are too poor for insurance, they are not going to have the money to pay for your totaled vehicle. I think this an should be punished, but we all make mistakes, and the punishments you have listed seem a bit too severe. He won’t get ail time, it was his first DUI and no one was hurt. They will probably make him get an in-dash breathalyzer, which I think is a good idea. but let’s be realistic. Have you never made a huge mistake? People shouldn’t have to spend their whole lives and life savings because of a lapse in good judgement.

  • Larry Horse's Arse Horse's Arse

    You have to be beyond hammered to get onto the expressway going the wrong way. It’s just incomprehensible that anyone would do this and not realize he’s doing it. It’s scary who is out there driving.

  • Kenneth Mantel

    What a moron! I understand people make mistakes, but driving the wrong way down the highway for 11 miles, that goes beyond mistakes. I bet he was trying to kill himself, and did not succeed. He is lucky he did not kill anyone.

    He should not drive for a very, very long time, after he completes AA and prison time. He admitted on camera what he did, so the best lawyer will not help this idiot that much.
    , how in the hell between the State Police and Local Departments did it take 10 minutes to catch someone driving the wrong way and stop him?
    One question

  • Julia Montalvo

    He didn’t KILL ANYONE no one was harmed!! He knows very well he did something wrong to judge him and say he wanted to kill himself is a lil harsh when you don’t even know the person we don’t know what hes been through. I know he’s not the only person that has gotten drunk and acted stupid or made a big mistake. We are all humans we make mistakes and we learn from them.

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