Woman charged with DUI in fatal Hollywood Park crash with pedestrian

SHARE Woman charged with DUI in fatal Hollywood Park crash with pedestrian

Sun-Times file photo

A 26-year-old woman is accused of driving drunk and fatally striking a 55-year-old woman who was crossing the street early Sunday in the Hollywood Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side.

Bertha Saaverda-Velazquez, of the Cragin neighborhood, was charged with aggravated DUI causing death in the crash, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Bertha Saaverda-Velazquez | Chicago Police

Bertha Saaverda-Velazquez | Chicago Police

At 1:42 a.m., Brenda L. Schrader was walking across the street in the 5900 block of North Jersey after parking her vehicle along the curb, prosecutors said.

Velazquez had left a birthday party prior to the crash and was driving another person home when she struck Schrader with her vehicle, prosecutors said. The impact caused Schrader’s body to fly onto the hood of Velazquez’s vehicle and smash the windshield.

Schrader, of the Portage Park neighborhood, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy Sunday found Schrader died from multiple injuries related to the crash and her death was ruled an accident.

Velazquez got out of her vehicle, checked on the older woman and called 911, authorities said. She remained at the scene while emergency crews responded. Velazquez submitted to a breath test, which recorded a her blood-alcohol content at 0.113.

Velazquez’s license had been suspended since February 2017, prosecutors said.

Her bail was set at $40,000 at a hearing Monday and her next court date was scheduled for April 30.

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