Man convicted of aggravated DUI in crash that killed 2

Driver led police on chase, then struck tree in wooded area, resulting in deaths of 2 pasengers

Jose S. Aguirre, 30, was convicted of nine counts of aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony.

WAUKEGAN – A jury trial concluded June 6 in the Lake County Courthouse with guilty verdicts on all counts related to a 2020 fatal DUI rollover crash.

Jose S. Aguirre, 30, was convicted of nine counts of aggravated DUI, a Class 2 felony. Aguirre is facing up to 28 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, according to a news release from the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

After the verdict, State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said, “We will continue to hold dangerous and intoxicated drivers responsible for their criminal, dangerous and immoral acts. This is a preventable tragedy and all parts of our community must continue to raise awareness about how wrong and reckless intoxicated driving is. Our team of prosecutors helped bring justice to these families and we will always support them.”

The jury trial began June 3 and lasted four days. Jurors heard from state witnesses, including an accident reconstruction expert and law enforcement officers who explained how the collision occurred and the physical state of the defendant at the time of the accident.

The defendant chose to testify on the last day of the trial and denied being the driver of the vehicle, although eyewitnesses testified to seeing Aguirre get into the driver’s seat and expert witnesses testified that the injuries Aguirre suffered from the crash were consistent with Aguirre being the driver, according to the release.

About 3:20 a.m. Sept. 27, 2020, a Round Lake police officer tried to stop a white Chevrolet Traverse that was speeding. The vehicle, later determined to be owned and driven by Aguirre, refused to stop. The officer reported the Traverse reached a speed of 123 mph in a 45-mph zone and terminated the brief chase because of safety concerns.

Shortly after the chase was terminated, the officer came upon the Traverse, which had crashed into a wooded area near Route 134 and Main Street in Round Lake. Juan Renteria-Becerra, 34, and Edgar Herrera, 30, were both passengers in the vehicle and were pronounced dead at the scene. Jorge Trevino, 32, also was a passenger in the vehicle and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, according to the release.

The Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team determined Aguirre was the driver of the vehicle and was traveling at speeds over 110 mph when Aguirre lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway and entered the wooded area, where the vehicle struck several trees and rolled over before coming to a rest on its roof.

An arrest warrant was issued for Aguirre in October 2021. After avoiding being arrested for more than a year, police apprehended Aguirre in December 2022.

Before the trial, Aguirre was being held in the Lake County jail on a $1 million bond. (The cash bond was set by a judge before the effective date of bail reform.) After the guilty verdict, Judge D. Christopher Lombardo revoked Aguirre’s ability to post bail.

Aguirre’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 15.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois