Man charged with DUI after head-on crash with tree in Riverside

SHARE Man charged with DUI after head-on crash with tree in Riverside

A man is facing DUI charges after a crash that left him and a passenger injured early Monday in Riverside. | Riverside police

A man is facing DUI charges after he allegedly slammed a van head-on into a tree early Monday in west suburban Riverside.

Police were called for reports of the crash at 3:18 a.m. in the 200 block of East Quincy Street in Riverside, according to a statement from Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel. They arrived to find a 2003 Honda van against a tree and “two males stumbling in the area of the crash.”

The driver, 23-year-old Michael Santiago, had “heavily slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his mouth” when he spoke to officers, according to Weitzel. He allegedly told police he’d been driving eastbound on Quincy to take his passenger home when “the airbags deployed on their own.”

Michael R. Santiago | Riverside police

Michael R. Santiago | Riverside police

“Even when the officers showed him the heavy damage to the tree and his vehicle he denied that he was even involved in a crash, showing extreme signs of alcohol overdose,” Weitzel said.

Santiago and his passenger, a 25-year-old Berwyn man, were both taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for evaluation, police said. Officers accompanied them to the hospital to perform sobriety and DUI testing.

Santiago told investigators he had been drinking beer and ingested lorazepam before driving, according to Weitzel. Police sent blood and urine samples to the Illinois State Police Crime Lab for testing.

After he was released from the hospital about 5 a.m., Santiago was taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving under the influence of drugs, driving with a suspended license, improper lane usage, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and damage to public property, police said.

Weitzel said his suspended license “was not based on any prior DUI.”

The Latest
The bracco (pronounced BRAH’-koh) goes back more than two millennia in Europe but wasn’t brought to the U.S. until the mid-1990s, according to the AKC. It’s sometimes called the Italian pointer or Italian pointing dog.
The 2015 second-round draft pick was one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL in his first five seasons. But a downturn in production and the transition to a 4-3 defense under Matt Eberflus made him expendable to new GM Ryan Poles.
His “son-in-law saw him and tried to protect him, shielding him with his body, but he had already been hit,” a lifelong friend said.
Yoan Moncada left the White Sox’ game against the Twins Wednesday with a bruised right foot.
Katherine Goldstein, 64, of Highland Park, was among those who were killed during a mass shooting at the suburban Fourth of July parade.