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Police: Man used heroin before Riverside crash

Lucas S. Szekely | Riverside police

A 24-year-old Chicago man has been charged with using heroin before crashing into another vehicle Saturday evening in west suburban Riverside.

Lucas S. Szekely was charged with driving under the influence of drugs, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to a statement from Riverside police.

Officers responded to a two-vehicle crash about 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of First Avenue and Ridgewood Road in Riverside.

The driver who rear-ended the other vehicle, later identified as Szekely, had a head injury and appeared “disoriented and sleepy,” police said.

His speech was heavily slurred and he told officers he was taking medication for his heroin addiction, police said. When asked the last time he had used heroin, he said he had just ingested the drug with a hypodermic needle before the crash. He lost consciousness, then rear-ended the other vehicle.

Szekely, of the 1200 block of West Flournoy, was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, police said. In addition to the charges, he was cited for unlawful use of an electronic device, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

A bottle of prescription medication, a small plastic bag containing heroin and hypodermic needles were found in his pockets, and additional needles and a spoon were recovered from the vehicle, police said.

The driver and passengers in the other vehicle were treated at the scene and did not require hospitalization.