Driver charged with DUI, reckless homicide for crash that killed passenger near Belmont Harbor

First responders at the scene of a crash that left a 25-year-old man dead in the 3100 block of North Lake Shore Drive on May 9, 2024. The car’s driver was charged with reckless homicide and DUI. (Citizen App, Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Authorities have filed reckless homicide and DUI charges in connection with this week’s fatal car crash on Lake Shore Drive near Belmont Harbor. Jaime Torres Jr. of the 7100 block of South California is scheduled to appear for a detention hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

In a preliminary statement, Chicago police said Torres, 20, was driving northbound on the drive when he swerved to avoid another car just south of Belmont around 12:15 a.m. Thursday. Torres’ car struck a curb and then collided with a light pole, police said. A felony complaint accuses Torres of driving over 100 mph and changing lanes recklessly before the crash.

His passenger, 25-year-old Jorge Castillo of Des Plaines, died in the crash.

A video posted to the Citizen App showed police removing Torres from the crashed Volkswagen Tiguan. He did not appear to have serious injuries.

In Torres’ arrest report, officers said Torres told them that another car cut him off, causing him to swerve and hit the right curb. He told the officers that his cousin was in the front passenger seat and might not be breathing, the report said.

A DUI test kit allegedly showed Torres had a blood alcohol concentration of .118, above the .08 legal limit.

Torres faces charges of reckless homicide with a motor vehicle, aggravated DUI causing death, and misdemeanor DUI. Judge Charles Beach released him with a nighttime curfew.

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