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Man charged with reckless homicide for 2015 Portage Park crash

Alejandro Rojas | Chicago Police

A North Side man charged with striking and killing a 60-year-old man with his SUV in the Northwest Side Portage Park neighborhood last year was ordered held on a $250,000 bond Friday.

Alejandro Rojas, 28, was charged Thursday with one felony count of reckless homicide, according to Chicago Police.

At 5:08 p.m. on July 23, 2015, Tadeusz Jakowski, 60, was crossing Central Avenue in the crosswalk and a white car heading northbound on Central stopped at the intersection to turn westbound onto Cornelia Avenue, Cook County prosecutors said at Rojas’ bond hearing Friday.

Rojas was driving a 2000 Chevrolet Trailblazer behind the white car northbound on Central Avenue at a high rate of speed, prosecutors said. When the white car stopped at the intersection, he drove around the stopped car and struck Jakowski in the crosswalk, who was tossed into the air before landing on the ground.

Rojas stopped the Trailblazer a short distance away and called 911, prosecutors said.

Jakowski, of the 5500 block of West Berteau, was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he died at 6:53 p.m. the same day, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Video footage caught Jakowski in the crosswalk and the SUV striking him at a high rate of speed, prosecutors said. Two witnesses also saw the crash.

Rojas admitted to changing lanes to go around the stopped car, prosecutors said. He heard a bang, saw a shadow and saw something fly into the air, then noticed his driver’s side rearview mirror was missing and saw a man lying in the road, bleeding from the mouth.

He was initially cited for driving an uninsured vehicle and not practicing due care with a pedestrian in the roadway. After further investigation, the traffic citations were dismissed Thursday and he was charged with reckless homicide, prosecutors said.

Rojas, of the 6400 block of North Glenwood, was ordered held on a $250,000 bond in court Friday. He is next scheduled to appear in court May 10.