Drunk driver slammed into IDOT roadside assistance truck, killing her passenger: prosecutors

Shayda Martinez (Illinois State Police, IDOT)

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Chicago woman was intoxicated when she slammed her car into an IDOT roadside assistance truck on the Dan Ryan Expressway, killing her passenger and badly injuring her backseat passenger.

Judge Ankur Srivastava rejected a detention request that prosecutors filed against the woman, 22-year-old Shayda Martinez.

The IDOT tow truck was parked on the right shoulder of the inbound Dan Ryan Expressway near 35th Street as its crew assisted a stranded motorist around 1:15 p.m. on February 24, prosecutors said.

Its emergency lights and directional arrow board were illuminated when Martinez crashed into it with her 2007 Chevy Tahoe, police said in an arrest report.

Martinez’s front passenger, Lizbeth Vergara, 22, was partly ejected from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries, the report said. A 29-year-old man in the Tahoe’s back seat sustained head trauma, a brain injury, and broken limbs and ribs, according to the report.

The IDOT driver found Martinez still behind the wheel of the Tahoe, according to police. Investigators said they found an open bottle of Hennessey Cognac inside the SUV.

According to the prosecution’s detention request, Martinez refused to submit to chemical testing, but medical records secured pursuant to a search warrant showed she had a blood alcohol concentration of .183, more than twice the legal limit.

Martinez is charged with aggravated DUI causing death, aggravated DUI causing bodily injury, and DUI. She also received several citations.

Vergara, known as Liz, had a young daughter, according to a GoFundMe campaign established to raise money for her family.

A GoFundMe for the backseat passenger, Alfredo Baez, organized by his co-workers, has raised $7,775 as of March 9.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to include the Baez GoFundMe information on March 9.

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