Wrong-way driver in CTA bus crash had alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, officials say

CHICAGO — The driver of an SUV that traveled the wrong way on Lake Shore Drive and slammed into a CTA bus on Sunday morning had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, officials said. Charice Rush, a passenger in the SUV who had been out celebrating her 37th birthday, was killed.

The Chicago Fire Department said 16 people were taken to hospitals from the crash scene, including Rush and another passenger in the SUV who was seriously injured.

Dontrell Biggs, 29, was charged Tuesday with reckless homicide with a motor vehicle and multiple counts of DUI.

During his bail hearing, prosecutor Anne McCord said city surveillance footage shows Biggs make a U-turn on the drive and head south in the northbound lanes around 6 a.m. Another motorist called 911 to report a wrong-way driver and then called 911 again after Biggs slammed into the CTA bus near 45th Street, McCord said.

Rush was ejected from the front passenger seat, and a 32-year-old woman in Biggs’ back seat suffered a broken hip. She had to undergo surgery. McCord said none of the bus passengers was seriously injured.

Dontrell Biggs | Chicago Police Department

About 20 minutes after the crash, Biggs’ blood alcohol level was .1525, which Judge Ankur Srivastava pointed out would be “almost double the legal limit.”

Biggs, a father of four, works as a security guard and is training to become a canine security officer, his attorney said.

Srivastava set bail at $30,000, meaning Biggs must post a $3,000 bail deposit to get out of jail.

“I understand that that’s not a bond amount that might seem commensurate to the seriousness of the offense to the victims and their families in this case,” Srivastava noted. “But, again, the purpose of bail here is not to punish you for what may have happened because you are presumed innocent.”

The judge ordered Biggs not to drive if he bonds out.

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