Man found guilty of killing two children in 2012 DUI crash

SHARE Man found guilty of killing two children in 2012 DUI crash

Joey Chavez | Cook County sheriff’s office

A 40-year-old man has been found guilty of killing two children while driving under the influence of PCP and opiates in a crash in the South Side Back of the Yards neighborhood in 2012.

Joey Chavez was found guilty of aggravated driving under the influence causing the death of two or more persons after a bench trial before Judge Lawrence Flood, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

About 6:30 p.m. March 24, 2012, Chavez was speeding southbound on Western Boulevard in a friend’s Mercury Mountaineer when he ran a red light at 43rd Street, swerved into oncoming traffic and sideswiped another vehicle, prosecutors said.

He kept driving, swerving in and out of traffic, and reaching speeds of nearly 70 mph before running another red light at 45th and Western, then crashing into the rear of a Dodge Neon carrying a family of four, prosecutors said. The force of the crash caused the Neon to spin around several times and strike a pole.

The parents were severely injured but survived the crash, prosecutors said. Their children, 10-month-old Julissa Ochoa and 5-year-old Eric Ochoa, died of their injuries.

Chavez was taken to the hospital for injuries suffered in the crash, and his blood tested positive for PCP and opiates, prosecutors said. He faces up to 28 years in prison when he is sentenced July 21.

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