A Berkeley man was charged in a deadly DUI crash on the Eisenhower Expressway that claimed the life of one of his passengers.
It took nearly two years to charge Keon Hargrove because, Cook County prosecutors said, witnesses wouldn’t initially cooperate in the investigation.
But Assistant State’s Attorney Craig Taczy said blood found on the driver’s side of the vehicle matched Hargrove’s DNA. Hargrove suffered a large scalp laceration in the July 31, 2015 wreck, Taczy said.
Since then, three witnesses have identified Hargrove as the driver in the accident in which 32-year-old Akia J. Wallace of Kenwood died, Taczy said on Friday.
Hargrove, now 36, picked up Wallace and other people the night before in his minivan so they could all go to a club in Markham, Taczy said.
After purchasing alcohol at a liquor store with another friend, Hargrove drank on the way to the club, Taczy said. He then allegedly continued drinking when he got to the club after midnight and kept drinking until he left at 4 a.m.
Wallace was sitting in the rear row of the van when Hargrove lost control of the speeding vehicle on westbound I-290 near Laramie, Taczy said.
The minivan veered to the right, then rolled over multiple times, coming to rest on its roof, authorities said.
Wallace was ejected from the minivan.
Five others, including Hargrove, were injured, police said at the time.
When Hargrove was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, a blood draw showed his blood-alcohol level was at 0.214 — nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08, Taczy said.
Hargrove has a previous reckless driving and misdemeanor DUI conviction, Taczy said. He also has several felonies under his belt on a weapon case, as well as for drugs and aggravated battery.
Hargrove’s attorney pointed that the state trooper his client surrendered to was the same one that was in the hospital the day of the incident. Hargrove has a valid driver’s license, the defense attorney added.
Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil ordered Hargrove held in lieu of $250,000 bail.