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Man charged in deadly DUI crash

Antonio Ruiz, 23, was charged with aggravated DUI causing death and reckless homicide for the crash that claimed the life of 67-year-old Frances Poole in Austin.

Cook County Criminal Courts, 2601 S. California Blvd.
The Leighton Criminal Courthouse.
Sun-Times file

A 23-year-old man has been charged in a deadly DUI crash he allegedly caused last spring after exiting the Eisenhower Expressway.

Antonio Ruiz was driving east in a red truck on April 11 when he got off Interstate 290 at the Austin Boulevard exit, Cook County prosecutors said Wednesday. He then allegedly started going the wrong way down an exit for westbound traffic.

Ruiz went on to collide with the driver’s side of 67-year-old Frances Poole’s car as she exited the expressway that morning, prosecutors said.

Poole died from the injuries she suffered in crash.

An investigation revealed that Ruiz was driving 65 mph seconds before he hit Poole, prosecutors said.

A blood test administered at an area hospital following the crash showed Ruiz’s blood-alcohol level was 0.09 — slightly over the legal limit of 0.08, prosecutors said. Ruiz also allegedly had marijuana and cocaine in his system.

Antonio Ruiz
Antonio Ruiz
Chicago police

The body-camera of an Oak Park police officer who arrived at the scene of the crash recorded Ruiz admitting he had “a couple of drinks” before driving, prosecutors said.

Ruiz’s DNA was also found on an airbag of the truck, which was registered to him and his brother, prosecutors said.

Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered Ruiz held on $80,000 bail Wednesday for aggravated DUI causing death and reckless homicide.

Dawkins barred Ruiz from driving while he awaits trial, but said he could apply for movement to work if he is able to post bond.

Ruiz is a bricklayer, lives at home with his parents and has cooperated with authorities since the crash, his attorney told Dawkins.

Ruiz is expected back in court Jan. 24.