clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Man charged in fatal Grayslake crash tried to flee to Guatemala: police

Victor H. Ortiz, 51, is charged with two counts of reckless homicide and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol.

A man died in a blaze June 1, 2021, in Oak Forest.
A man is facing DUI and reckless homicide charges for a fatal crash June 8, 2019, in north suburban Grayslake.
Adobe Stock Photo

The suspect in a fatal DUI crash last month in north suburban Grayslake was arrested on a charter bus bound for Guatemala.

Victor H. Ortiz, 51, is charged with two counts of reckless homicide and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol for the June 8 crash, according to a statement from the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Ortiz was behind the wheel of a Ford E350 van shortly after 9 p.m. when it crossed the median and veered into oncoming traffic while heading south on Fairfield Road north of Route 60, according to the sheriff’s office. The Ford hit the driver’s side of a northbound Honda Odyssey driven by a 42-year-old man from Hainesville.

It then hit a northbound Kia Forte driven by 56-year-old Barbara Gaulke of Ingleside, police and the Lake County coroner’s office said.

Gaulke and her passenger, 64-year-old Sandra Forscht of Round Lake Beach, were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Victor H. Ortiz
Victor H. Ortiz
Lake County sheriff’s office

Ortiz and the driver of the Honda both had injuries that were not life-threatening, and were taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, the sheriff’s office said.

Investigators received test results June 28 for Ortiz’s blood and urine, which showed he was drunk at the time of the crash, the sheriff’s office said. An arrest warrant was issued for him the next day.

Detectives learned Ortiz was a passenger on a charter bus departing from Chicago to Texas and eventually Guatemala at 1:30 p.m. on June 29, authorities said. Chicago police pulled the bus over near I-57 and 111th Street and took Ortiz into custody.

Ortiz, who lives in Round Lake Beach, remains in custody at the Cook County Jail pending extradition to Lake County.