Drunken driver caused fatal Rogers Park crash during police chase: prosecutors

SHARE Drunken driver caused fatal Rogers Park crash during police chase: prosecutors

The intersection of Devon and Kedzie avenues. | Google Earth

A drunken driver ran a red light during a police chase Friday as he crashed into another car, killing a 61-year-old driver in West Rogers Park, according to Cook County prosecutors.

The man was ordered held without bond Sunday, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

The chase started about 1 a.m. Friday when Chicago Police officers on patrol saw Jusef Wofford, 32, driving a black GMC Savana suspiciously slow in the 6800 block of North Western Avenue, prosecutors said at Wofford’s initial court appearance Sunday. They slowed down to take a look at the driver, who then sped up past them.

Jusef Wofford | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Jusef Wofford | Cook County Sheriff’s Office

Wofford turned the wrong way down a one-way street, going west on Albion Avenue with officers giving chase in a squad car with lights and sirens activated, a police report shows. He kept speeding through a 30 mph zone up until he hit a dead end at Albion and Kedzie, where he turned south on Kedzie.

Wofford ran a red light on Kedzie at Devon Avenue, striking another car with a 61-year-old driver, court documents show. The other car vehicle spun and hit two parked cars, while the GMC rolled onto its side and slid into three other parked cars.

The older driver, identified as Tuong Vi Am, was trapped in his car and extricated, then taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead at 2:01 a.m., according to court documents and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office. An autopsy Saturday found he died of multiple blunt force injuries related to the crash, and his death was ruled an accident. He lived in West Rogers Park.

Wofford was also taken to St. Francis to be treated for minor injuries, police said.

It turned out the GMC driven by Wofford had been stolen two days earlier from Evanston, court documents show. He was charged with felony counts of reckless homicide, aggravated DUI involving death and possession of a stolen vehicle. He was also issued five traffic citations.

Wofford’s driving privileges had been revoked for two prior felony convictions that involved a motor vehicle, prosecutors said. He has three prior felony stolen motor vehicle convictions and five felony convictions in all.

Wofford is next scheduled to appear in court on Monday.

Contributing: Tom Schuba

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