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DUI charges filed following deaths of 4, including teen and 6-year-old, in Cook County collision, Illinois State Police say
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DUI charges filed following deaths of 4, including teen and 6-year-old, in Cook County collision, Illinois State Police say

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CHICAGO — A Bellwood man remained in Cook County Jail on Wednesday after being accused of driving while intoxicated during a crash that left four people, including a teen and a 6-year-old, dead in Rolling Meadows late Saturday night, officials said.

Lamar M. Graves, 32, was charged with four counts of aggravated driving under the influence involving death, according to a statement from Illinois State Police.

Graves, of Bellwood, was arrested without incident and remains in Cook County Jail, after a judge ordered him held on $450,000 bond, state police said in the statement.

The four victims, Herlanda Harris, 47; Jimarion Lamontae Harris, 6, of Chicago; Stacy Harris, 45; and Jeremy Johnson, 17, of Schaumburg, were killed when a black 2018 Jeep Wrangler driven by Graves plowed into them as they sat in a 2019 Ford Fiesta stopped along the roadside, authorities said.

Officials did not say whether some or all of those who died were related.

The agency has expressed renewed concern that drivers are ignoring the so-called move-over law, which requires motorists to change lanes away from vehicles stopped on the shoulder — including the 10 state police units hit so far this year and civilian vehicles parked near the road, such as in Saturday’s crash.

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Troopers were called to Illinois Route 53 at Kirchoff Road in suburban Cook County just after 11:30 p.m. to investigate a two-vehicle collision, according to a statement from state police.

The Ford Fiesta was stopped along the shoulder of northbound Route 53.

As the Jeep traveled north, approaching the Ford, the driver of the Jeep “veered off the roadway to the right, striking the rear of (the Ford),” according to state police. The force of the collision caused the Jeep and the Ford “to cross all lanes of traffic and come to rest on the left shoulder,” according to the statement.

Graves suffered injuries that were not considered life-threatening, and he was taken to an area hospital for treatment, authorities said. The types of injuries he suffered were not detailed.

It was not clear why the Fiesta was stopped along the shoulder or how long it had been there before the Wrangler struck it.

Separately, hours before the Saturday crash, state police had announced the agency would conduct a series of enforcement details to focus on distracted driving and awareness of the move-over law, also known as Scott’s Law, which requires motorists in Illinois to change lanes to avoid striking stranded vehicles with hazard lights engaged or emergency vehicles parked along the shoulder.

Although it wasn’t immediately clear whether the Ford Fiesta had its emergency lights on, the deaths of the four people Saturday night are a tragic example of precisely what Scott’s Law was enacted to prevent, officials said.

“Generally, when approaching any vehicle with emergency or hazard lights activated, motorists are required by law to move over and slow down, if changing lanes is unsafe,” state Trooper Elizabeth Clausing said.

Violators of Scott’s Law can face fines up to $10,000 and possible license suspensions. In criminal cases, a driver can receive a more severe sentence for violating Scott’s Law.

The law — named after Chicago fire Lt. Scott Gillen, who was killed by a motorist while inspecting a fire engine on the Bishop Ford Freeway — has been in place since 2002. The driver was later convicted of reckless homicide.

Chicago Tribune reporter Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas contributed.


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