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Updated 03/27/12 – 2:58 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – A 36-year-old man has been charged with drunk driving for a crash that killed two children over the weekend in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
Joey Chavez, of the 2200 block of South Saint Louis Avenue, was charged with two felony counts of aggravated DUI resulting in death, and two felony counts of aggravated DUI resulting in bodily harm. He was also charged with three traffic-related misdemeanors, including driving on a suspended license, and issued five traffic tickets, including two citations for disobeying a red light.
Chavez was ordered held on $550,000 bond on Tuesday. He was also hospitalized after the crash, but was booked into Cook County Jail on Tuesday.
Police said Chavez was driving south on Western Avenue at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when he was involved in a hit-and-run crash with another vehicle that was heading north at 43rd Street. Chavez sped away from the scene while still heading south on Western when he rear-ended a Dodge Neon in the 4500 block of South Western Avenue.
Chavez’s SUV sustained severe front-end damage and the Neon was virtually destroyed by the impact. Witnesses said both cars flipped over during the crash.
Two children riding in the Neon — 10-month-old Julissa Ochoa and 5-year-old Eric Ochoa — were killed in the wreck. Their father, Eric Ochoa Sr., was seriously injured. Witnesses said their mother, Bernice Cabrera, was the only one who walked away, although she suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Witnesses said Bernice Cabrera was hysterical after the crash. As of Sunday night, she had not told the children’s father that the kids had died, as he was still recovering from his own injuries and his family thought learning of the children’s deaths would be too much for him.
Chavez was expected to appear for a bond hearing Tuesday afternoon.