Felon charged in fatal crash was high on PCP, drove 76 mph, prosecutors allege

Luis Alverado, 41, is charged with reckless homicide for the crash that killed 76-year-old Patricia Wickers in Archer Heights Sunday.

SHARE Felon charged in fatal crash was high on PCP, drove 76 mph, prosecutors allege
Luis Alverado is facing a reckless homicide charge for Patricia Wickers’ death, but charges could be upgraded to a more serious DUI charge depending on the results of blood tests.

Luis Alverado is facing a reckless homicide charge for Patricia Wickers’ death, but charges could be upgraded to a more serious DUI charge depending on the results of blood tests.

Andy Grimm for the Sun-Times

A 41-year-old felon with history of driving offenses told authorities he was high on PCP when he was speeding and slammed into an elderly woman’s car in Archer Heights, immediately killing her, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Luis Alverado was traveling south on Cicero Avenue on a suspended driver’s license when he allegedly went through a red light at Archer Avenue at 76 mph around 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

Once in the intersection, Alverado’s black Chevrolet Malibu slammed into 76-year-old Patricia Wickers’ Honda Prelude with such force that her car “split almost completely in half,” prosecutors said.

Wickers, of Gage Park, was ejected from the car and thrown across the intersection. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Luis Alverado arrest photo

Luis Alverado

Chicago police

Alverado’s car continued to crash into several other vehicles before coming to a stop, prosecutors said. He then got out of his Malibu and stood on the sidewalk.

Several witnesses identified him as the driver in the deadly crash, leading to his arrest, prosecutors said.

Alverado later admitted to smoking PCP, running through a red light and not having have a valid driver’s license, prosecutors said. He was taken to a hospital for a blood draw, but results were still pending Tuesday. Alverado is facing a reckless homicide charge for Wickers’ death, but charges could be upgraded to a more serious DUI charge depending on the results of the blood tests.

Judge John F. Lyke Jr. called the allegations against Alverado “totally horrendous.” The judge ordered Alverado held on $250,000 bail and recommended he be placed on electronic monitoring if he is able to post bond.

Alverado’s license has been suspended since 2016 when he was charged with driving under the influence, prosecutors said. The charge was later reduced and he was found guilty of reckless driving.

He has also been arrested nine times for driving without a valid license or driving while his license was suspended, court records show. In addition, Alverado, of Cicero, was charged last year with leaving the scene of a crash.

Alverado also has previous convictions for armed robbery, drug possession, gang loitering and assaulting a police officer.

An assistant public defender told Lyke Alverado is a single father of four children in their late teens or early 20s and cares for his elderly parents. He is currently unemployed because of an injury, but he last worked at a Home Depot for two years, the assistant public defender said.

Alverado is expected back in court on Aug. 8.

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