A North Chicago police officer was charged on Saturday with two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence for his involvement in a three-car collision that killed two people.
WMAQ-TV reported that Officer Terrel Garrett was been placed on administrative leave after the accident, in which Garrett was going the wrong way on on Lake Shore Drive on Friday morning when his SUV plowed into two other vehicles. Witnesses said Garrett was driving at more than 60 miles an hour at the time.
Two college students, 25-year-old Joaquin Garcia and 27-year-old Fabian Torres, were killed at the scene. The driver of the third vehicle, an unidentified woman, was treated at a local hospital and released.
Garrett is listed in critical condition at a hospital. He is scheduled for a bond hearing on Sunday, but authorities are not sure he will be able to attend.
“It is important to note that Officer Garrett was off duty,” North Chicago Police Chief James B. Jackson said in a statement on Friday, before adding that the department had “absolutely no tolerance for officers whose actions fall outside the very laws they are asked to enforce.”
The station also reported, citing a source in the department, that Garrett is the cousin of former chief Michael Newsome, who resigned his position last year after allegations of police abuse. Newsome was also charged with stealing more than $140,000 taken from drug-related arrests.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Torres was scheduled to graduate DePaul University in May, while García was studying to become a medical technician at Malcolm X College.
“My nephew is gone. His friend is gone,” García’s uncle, Andres Laboy, told WBBM-TV. “They had so much ahead of them.”
Watch WMAQ’s report on the fatal crash, posted on Saturday, below.
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