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Police: Driver high on heroin during series of hit-and-run crashes in Riverside

A 69-year-old man high on heroin ran into and knocked over a street light in addition to hitting a number of cars earlier this week in west suburban Riverside. | Riverside police

A southwest suburban man was high at the wheel during a heroin-fueled series of hit-and-run crashes earlier this week in Riverside, according to police.

Hometown resident Daniel Richards, 69, faces charges of DUI and leaving the scene of an accident, in addition to a slew of traffic tickets for the trail of damage that started about 6 p.m. Monday, Riverside police said.

Multiple 911 callers reported several accidents the 3000 block of South Harlem Avenue, between Lindberg and Addison roads, with a car continuing to go south after each collision, police said.

Daniel Richards | Riverside police

An officer pulled over the reported 1999 White Toyota near Harlem and Herrick Road, where Richards told police he lost control on the icy road and hit four cars, police said. His vehicle was heavily damaged, and had also taken down a light pole near Addison.

He passed a field test for alcohol sobriety, “but it was obvious he was highly impaired,” according to police. The Hometown man told authorities he had ingested heroin before driving and used the drug daily, police said.

Due to a slight head injury, Richards was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for further evaluation.

Authorities investigate after Daniel Richards hit multiple vehicles and a streetlight while driving high on heroin. | Riverside police

An officer went to MacNeal Hospital to conduct the investigation, where Richards reportedly refused to submit to any chemical testing. He was treated at the emergency room and released.

He was processed through the Riverside jail and bonded out with a court date of March 15.