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Man charged with DUI after fatally striking panhandler in West Town

Manuel Guerrero-Lopez / photo from Cook County Sheriff’s office

A man is facing DUI charges after he fatally struck a panhandler early Sunday in the West Town neighborhood.

Manuel Guerrero-Lopez, 26, of the 8100 block of South Kostner Avenue, faces one felony count of aggravated DUI and misdemeanor counts of disobeying a red signal, DUI and failure to exercise due care to avoid a pedestrian, according to Chicago Police.

Guerrero-Lopez was driving westbound in the 5100 block of North Avenue about 6:30 a.m. Sunday when he ran the red light at the Kennedy Expressway ramp and struck a vehicle heading southbound from the ramp, according to a police report.

His SUV rolled onto its side into the oncoming lanes and struck a pedestrian who was panhandling in the middle of the street, according to police.

The panhandler, 73-year-old Charles Jones, was pronounced dead on the scene at 6:48 a.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Jones, of the 500 block of Monroe Street in Valparaiso, Ind., died of multiple injuries from a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian and his death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Guerrero-Lopez’s blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit, according to police. He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center with injuries after the crash.

Judge Laura Sullivan ordered Guerrero-Lopez held on $250,000 bond Tuesday, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. He is next scheduled to appear in court June 23.