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Man Convicted In Jefferson Park Crash That Killed Mother, Son

Richard Strum has been convicted of reckless homicide in a crash that killed a mother and son in Jefferson Park in 2011. Authorities said he was driving with marijuana in his system. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff)

Richard Strum has been convicted of reckless homicide in a crash that killed a mother and son in Jefferson Park in 2011. Authorities said he was driving with marijuana in his system. (Credit: Cook County Sheriff)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A 36-year-old Northwest Side man was convicted Thursday in the deadly accident that claimed the lives of a mother and her teenage son.

Richard Strum went behind the wheel of his Ford Mustang while he had marijuana in his system and crashed into Claudia Delia’s Honda Civic while it was parked at Austin and Sunnyside avenues in the Jefferson Park neighborhood, Cook County prosecutors said.

Delia, 35, and her 16-year-old son, Bryan Delia, who was in the front passenger seat of the Honda, were killed in the Aug. 9, 2011, collision.

Delia’s teenage stepson, toddler son and family friend were also injured in the accident.

Strum was convicted of reckless homicide and aggravated driving with cannabis in his urine, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

He was acquitted of DUI charges.

“This was a not a highway going through Iowa,” assistant state’s attorney Christa Bowden said in her closing arguments Thursday as she described Strum’s speeding and erratic driving the morning of the crash.

Strum’s attorney Thomas Benno argued that his client wasn’t intoxicated and said although the wreck was tragic, it was an “accident.”

But prosecutor Michelle Spizzirri lashed back.

“This is a criminal act, not an accident,” she told the jurors. “The family does not need condolences. The family needs justice.”

Strum faces six to 28 years behind bars.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)