DUI, reckless homicide charges for driver in wrong-way CTA bus crash that killed Chicago woman celebrating birthday

Charice Rush, 37, was out with friends after a late night of celebrating her birthday when the car she was riding in drove the wrong way on DuSable Lake Shore Drive, colliding with a CTA bus about 6 a.m. Sunday.

SHARE DUI, reckless homicide charges for driver in wrong-way CTA bus crash that killed Chicago woman celebrating birthday

Charice Rush, 37, died shortly after her birthday after the car she was riding in crashed into a CTA bus.

Floyd Boens

Floyd Boens’ last conversation with Charice Rush was about how she would be celebrating her 37th birthday. Hours after their conversation, a vehicle she was riding in early Sunday was going the wrong way when it collided with a CTA bus, ultimately ending her life.

“I talked to her around 8 o’clock the night before, and she said she was going to a club to celebrate her birthday,” said Boens, Rush’s oldest brother. “I didn’t hear anything else from my sister until later when someone called me and told me she was in a bad car accident.”

Meanwhile, Rush’s friend, 29-year-old Dontrell Biggs, who was behind the wheel, has been charged with aggravated DUI, reckless homicide and reckless driving, Chicago police said.

Just before 6 a.m., Rush, Dontrell Biggs and 32-year-old Christina Biggs, were in a Dodge Journey heading northbound in the 4400 block of South DuSable Lake Shore Drive when the SUV made a sudden U-turn and struck a CTA bus head-on, according to police.

Rush was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said. Dontrell Biggs was taken to the hospital in critical condition. His sister, Christina Biggs, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where she was also listed in critical condition, police said at the time.

A longtime friend of Rush’s said she had called him the day of her birthday to invite him to celebrate with her, but she wasn’t able to reach him.

“She called me because I had texted her happy birthday, but I was at work,” said Antoine Ware. “I never got the chance to call her back.”

Loved ones said Rush was adored by many and always happy.

Thirteen passengers on the bus were treated for minor injuries, and seven others declined treatment at the scene, fire officials said.

Witnesses on the bus said the accident happened within a matter of seconds.

Madeline Tiani of Hyde Park said she remembers reading as she headed to work when the bus suddenly jolted. She looked up to see the windows burst, sending little bits of glass in every direction.

“Then I saw the tire wheel of the other car flying in the air,” Tiani said. “The car that hit us, just as soon as it hit us, had vanished. It was really quick.”

The bus came to a stop a short distance away, and most of the passengers were unharmed, she said.

Many of the passengers on the bus walked away with just bumps and bruises, officials said.

But many were rattled, she added.

Another passenger, Marissa Wright of Hyde Park said she was looking down at her phone when she heard yelling and the bus swerved.

“The car hit the bus and then it caught on fire,” Wright said. Emergency responders “got there pretty quickly and attended to the car first.”

The bus driver eventually made his way around to ask passengers if they were OK, she said.

Like others on the bus, Tiani said she didn’t need to go to the hospital and went straight to work after the crash.

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