Driver Who Ran From Fiery Fatal River North Crash Commits Suicide

CHICAGO (CBS) — The driver who ran from a fiery crash early Monday in River North that killed his passenger was later found dead in his Bucktown apartment after apparently committing suicide, according to a police source.

About 1:30 a.m. Monday, a 2009 Nissan coupe was speeding west in the 400 block of West Ontario when it struck a utility pole at Orleans, causing the car to spin out and burst into flames, according to Chicago Police.

A passenger in the car, 21-year-old Alejandra Damian of Joliet, was pulled from the wreck and pronounced dead at the scene at 1:40 a.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Damian, known to friends as “Aly,” was a student at DePaul University, and worked as a waitress at the Vertigo Sky Lounge and Cerise Rooftop, according to her Facebook page.

A GoFundMe page set up to help with funeral and memorial expenses had raised nearly $10,000 towards a $15,000 goal in just 15 hours as of Tuesday morning.

An autopsy found she died of multiple injuries from an automobile striking a fixed object, and her death was ruled an accident, the medical examiner’s office said.

The driver, 34-year-old Anthony Milder, jumped out of the car and ran away, according to a police source and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A source told the Chicago Sun-Times that Milder — who also went by Anthony van Morré — and Damian were at Bottled Blonde, a bar on Wells Street in River North, for several hours prior to the crash. Milder posted to Facebook at 6:32 p.m. Monday that he was at the bar.

Tuesday afternoon, a Bottled Blonde manager, who declined to give her name, said Milder and Damian were at the bar Sunday, but said they were at several other River North bars that night, as well.

Milder was found in his apartment in the 1800 block of North Wood Street, and pronounced dead at 6:23 p.m. Monday, according to police and the medical examiner’s office. An autopsy Tuesday ruled his death a suicide.

A police source told the Chicago Sun-Times that the Chicago Fire Department was dispatched to Milder’s home to perform a well-being check Monday evening. As fire crews were arriving, so too were Chicago Police officers who were there to question him about the crash.

The source said hung himself with a belt and was found against a door.

According to his social media accounts, Milder was an active figure in the Chicago nightlife scene and worked at Underground, another bar in River North.

The Ontario Street feeder ramp to the Kennedy Expressway was closed for about eight hours after the crash for the investigation and cleanup.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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