Woodstock woman accused of DUI in crash that killed her sister is denied request to attend her funeral

Yaraldy Avilez Estrada, 22, was on supervision for misdemeanor DUI conviction on April 16

A mother of two young children, a passenger in a Toyota driven by her allegedly drunk sister when the vehicle was in a rollover crash last week near Woodstock died from her injuries on Friday, according to the Lake County Coroner’s Office.

A car crash that killed the mother of two young children in Woodstock last week occurred while her sister was behind the wheel driving drunk, according to allegations filed by McHenry County prosecutors.

Belen Estrada, 29, of Woodstock died from blunt force injuries suffered during the crash, according to a Lake County Coroner’s Office news release.

In court Tuesday, Yaraldy Avilez Estrada, 22, of Woodstock, who was denied pretrial release at a hearing Saturday, appeared in the McHenry County courtroom of Judge Mark Gerhardt. Avilez Estrada is charged with aggravated DUI with a crash causing bodily harm and aggravated DUI while a driver’s license suspended or revoked, Class 4 felonies, according to the criminal complaint in McHenry County court.

Assistant Public Defender Kim Messer asked the court if Avilez Estrada could be released to attend her sister’s funeral services Thursday and Friday in Harvard.

However, Assistant State’s Attorney Justin Neubauer objected, informing the judge that her sister had died in the crash and that he anticipates charges against Avilez Estrada “will be enhanced.” He also noted that on April 16, weeks prior to the crash, Yaraldy Avilez Estrada was convicted of a misdemeanor DUI and given one year supervision.

When convicted in that case, she was “assessed as a high risk, requiring 75 hours of substance abuse treatment,” according to the order detaining her.

Messer said she could have Avilez Estrada fitted with an ankle monitor if he allows her to go to the funeral services.

In denying her request, Gebhardt noted her misdemeanor DUI conviction just about a month ago, her failure to appear to court in the past and the current case in which her sister died. He said in both DUIs, Avilez Estrada had a blood alcohol level of .199, which is more than twice the legal limit.

“I don’t trust you. Your request is denied,” Gebhardt said.

At 10:45 a.m. on May 15, Woodstock Fire/Rescue District and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of Dean Street and Gayle Drive near Woodstock for a reported crash with entrapment and a second person who had been ejected from the vehicle, Woodstock Fire/Rescue District spokesman Alex Vucha said.

Upon arrival, firefighters found a woman, later identified as Belen Estrada, on the ground receiving CPR from a bystander before paramedics began life-saving measures. Estrada, who was pulseless at one point, was successfully resuscitated before being taken to the hospital, Vucha said.

She was taken by Woodstock ambulance to the helipad at Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital where she was flown to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville by a REACT helicopter. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, according to the sheriff’s office.

A preliminary investigation shows a 2003 Toyota Corolla was traveling south on Dean Street, north of Gayle Drive, when it went off the left side of the road, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. The vehicle came back onto Dean Street, crossed into the northbound lanes, left the road again to the west and crossed over Gayle Drive. The vehicle entered a yard at the southwest corner of the intersection before rolling over, striking a tree and coming to rest on its hood.

The driver, later identified as Avilez Estrada, was extricated from the heavily damaged vehicle within seven minutes of the rescue crew’s arrival, Vucha said. A LifeNet helicopter landed at the scene and flew the driver to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.

The driver was wearing her seat belt, according to the sheriff’s office.

Alcohol and speed are believed to have been factors in the crash, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

A GoFundMe has been created to assist Estrada’s family with funeral costs. As of Wednesday evening, the online fundraiser has raised more than $6,000 of its $10,000 goal. Estrada is remembered as a daughter, sister and mother to two young children, according to the GoFundMe.

“Every donation, no matter how small, is a step towards easing the financial burden on Belen’s family as it allows them to focus on healing and remembering the beautiful moments they created and shared with her,” GoFundMe organizer Nestor Carbajal said in the fundraiser.

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